Facebook quietly sets up Chinese subsidiary

Ann Santiago
July 28, 2018

A Facebook spokesman said the USA tech giant was setting up an "innovation hub" in Zhejiang, eastern China, to allow it to "support Chinese developers, innovators and start ups".

The hub will open with the aim of supporting "Chinese developers, innovators and start-ups", and will look to follow the model of similar hubs already open in countries such as France, Brazil, India and Korea, according to CNBC. The subsidiary is wholly owned by Facebook Hong Kong Limited.

Facebook has finally entered mainland China, after the registration of a Facebook entity in Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang Province and home of Alibaba, was reportedly approved on July 18.

In 2015, China revamped its internet filter to make it more hard for users to work around the ban.

Despite the efforts, Zuckerberg has been unable to get Facebook unblocked in China. China is the world's biggest social market of media.

The decision to take down the approval came after a disagreement between officials in Zhejiang and the national internet regulator, the Cyberspace Administration of China, which was angry that it had not been consulted more closely, according to the New York Times.

A company representative clarified that by establishing a company-owned unit in a blocked zone did not reflect that Facebook was modifying its approach towards China.

Instead, Chinese users can only access domestic social media sites such as Weibo, Renren and YouKu, which the government can monitor.

Despite not having any product or office in China, Facebook still does booming business there.

China strictly censors foreign news outlets, search engines and social media including content from Twitter Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google.

Before this, the Facebook CEO has made several attempts building a healthy relationship with China through frequently meeting top Chinese executives including President Xi Jinping and addressing a Q&A in Mandarin at a Chinese University, four years back.

Facebook can't catch a break in China.

Don't expect China to ease restrictions on Facebook just because it has opened up a $30 million subsidiary.

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