After years of efforts, Facebook seems to have been permitted to set up a new venture in the Chinese city of Hangzhou. Reportedly, the social media giant has finally gained approval to open a subsidiary in the country with an investment plan of USD 30 million, confirmed a Chinese government filing.
However, recently the corporate registration was pulled off the Chinese government website, and references to the new subsidiary on social media seemed to be censored which may be a sign of possible complications between the company and the government.
As per expert, these actions are a clear indication of how complicated it is for the company to enter the China market, where it has been held back for almost a decade. If the subsidiary is permitted to continue, the circumstances may be tentative for the company. Facebook claimed it wanted to use the deal to work with Chinese developers in the strongly censored market.
Apparently, even to release an application in China, the social media behemoth will require a separate license from the regulatory bodies. To introduce bigger products like the social network or the texting service, the firm would require additional negotiations around issues such as security and data storage.
According to sources, Facebook’s photo-sharing platform, Instagram, and messaging platform, WhatsApp are blocked by the Chinese government.
To support Chinese innovators and start-ups, Facebook will be setting up an innovation hub in Zhejiang, said Facebook spokeswoman, Debbie Frost. Having undertaken this step in several geographies, namely Brazil, India, Korea, and France, the company will focus on training and workshops that will help the developers and start-ups to transform and grow, added Frost.
China is currently headed by the Communist Party that deems any form of social media a potential risk to stability, especially the ones beyond the government’s control such as the Facebook & Twitter. A series of internet filters keep citizens from accessing such sites, cite sources. It has been reported that, accessible networks within China are still closely supervised by the government.