Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) may open a sales office in China to work with the local advertisers, according to a report from Bloomberg, citing sources familiar with the development. If such an office is established, it would mark the first ever employees of Facebook in the region, even though the service remains censored by the government.
Facebook see increased opportunity in China
It would take up to a year to open up the office in China and provide better services to the set of customers in the country, the Bloomberg source revealed. For the office, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is looking for a leased space in Beijing’s Fortune Financial Center situated in the city’s central business district. Another source stated that the social networker has not yet decided to hire full-time employees for a sales office or contract employees.
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has a very thin presence in China and an establishment in the country would give the company a much-needed opportunity to tap the market. Back in 2009, Chinese government banned Facebook in the country. However, Facebook has an office in Hong Kong from where it has managed to strengthen its business in China by selling ads to companies that want to tap international users.
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) Vice President Vaughan Smith said that the company’s sales team in Hong Kong is aiding Chinese businesses, but given the success and growth these companies are enjoying with the help of advertisements on Facebook, company is exploring ways to offer local support and have a sales office in China in the future. However, Smith did not comment on the timing or location of a China office.
China a tough nut to crack
China has been a tough country to enter for social media and U.S. giants like eBay and Yahoo! have had their share of hardships while trying to make their way in this market. In 2010, Google refused to follow the country’s online censorship rules and closed its local search page. The micro-blogging site Twitter was also banned in the country. LinkedIn Corp is, however, planning to expand its Chinese-language website and will comply with the country’s censorship rules.
Shaun Rein, managing director at China Market Research Group in Shanghai, told Bloomberg, “The government is still quite concerned about social instability. I don’t think you are going to see any access for Facebook anytime soon.”