Facebook breaks into China with launch of ‘innovation hub’

Facebook has secured a licence to set up a subsidiary in China, which will serve as an “innovation hub” to support local tech talent. The US firm is stepping up to break into the Chinese market despite its social media platforms remaining blocked.

The subsidiary has been successfully registered in the southern Chinese city of Hangzhou on 18 July, with an investment of US$30 million. It will be centered around startup development, technological services, marketing planning and investment consulting.

“We have done this in several parts of the world — France, Brazil, India, Korea — and our efforts would be focused on training and workshops that help these developers and entrepreneurs to innovate and grow.” a Facebook spokesperson told CNBC.

China is the world’s biggest yet restricted social media market. Access to foreign news outlets, search engines and social media is strictly censored. Popular websites and apps such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp and Instagram are blocked in the country.

Facebook’s social network has been blocked in China since 2009, and has since made several attempts to tap into the market. Last year, Facebook authorised a local company to release a photo-sharing app called “colorful balloons in China”. If the subsidiary opens, it will be the firm’s first formal presence in China.

However, if Facebook started introducing services in China, it would trigger questions about the censorship of content and sharing data with Beijing. The latter would be particularly tricky for the firm as it is under scrutiny by the U.S. government for its handling of user data.

Read More News

in Hong Kong by

Selling experience for luxury

Bespoke experiences are the new definition of luxury, according to yesterday’s Marketing Magazine Insights...

in Singapore by

Asia360 gets new backing

The strategic investment by luxury media company WhiteWave Media Group in the regional news magazine signals diversification of it..

in Hong Kong by

HSBC unveils pro-LGBT lion artworks

Stephen and Stitt, the iconic HSBC lions, have been turned into colourful art pieces to stand for pride and unity, and have inspir..