Saturday, September 26, 2015

Facebook Back to China?

The blockage of Facebook began around 2009 based on Chinese government political concerns. Since then, along with the booming internet culture, alternative (chinese) social networking websites have established their own huge market. 

This week, Chinese president Xi Jinpin is visiting the US, and yesterday (09/25) he had a dinner with several Tech CEOs, including Apple CEO Tim Cook and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, also Disney CEO Bob Iger and DreamWorks chief Jeffrey Katzenberg at the White House. Interestingly, the news mentions that “the four CEOs lead companies doing billions of dollars of business in China -- with the exception Zuckerberg, whose Facebook is officially banned in the country.” We don’t know the details about their conversation, but after the dinner, Zuckerberg posted this on his Facebook page:

Seems like it is a fine opportunity for Facebook coming back to China. Also, rumor says that several big advertisement companies are already trying to contact Facebook about future cooperations. First of all, we don’t know if everything will work out. Secondly, there are a lot of problems waiting for Facebook, even if the blockage is over. Since the political concerns are still on the table, Facebook may need to design a special version for Chinese users to access. On the other hand, the targeting users already build their own social networking webs, and it is going to be hard for them to set up a new one, especially the “new one” has similar functions and structures. 

For me, among Facebook, Google, Twitter, and YouTube, I think YouTube has the greatest opportunity (or maybe the easiest one) to establish its own market in China. Overall, if Facebook really comes back to China, as marketers, we are looking at a great channel to play with.

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