Two years ago, there were reports about Facebook entering China, but now there is new inside information? I was pretty surprised when reading this news, especially because I just did a post comparing Renren (Chinese Facebook) and Facebook.
On April 7, according to a reliable source, the world’s largest social networking site, Facebook, is preparing to enter China. If all goes well, this plan will be implemented within 3 months. Facebook has two ways to enter China: first, through a joint venture, and second, through cooperation and acquisition.
Facebook was registered with a ".cn" domain name in 2006, and that was when the media world also disseminated this information in China. Additionally, afterwards Li Jiacheng invested more than 100 million U.S. dollars into Facebook and Facebook’s potential entry into China was again brought up. However, thus far, Facebook is still hovering on the outside.
So, it seems that there has been a build-up of events for Facebook to enter China. Who is this Li Jiacheng? He is an extra wealthy Chinese that probably knows where to invest his money. He is Chairman of Cheung Kong Holdings Limited and according to Forbes in 2008, Li Jiacheng had total assets of up to 265 billion dollars.
I think if Facebook does enter China, they will probably have to agree to having their servers in China, or at least agree to a pretty strict and binding agreement in terms of content management. Google just tried to prove that they "Do no evil," and now Facebook might be changing their game plan.
Chinese internet experts are not too optimistic about Facebook’s ability to capture a sizable market share in China. Hu Yanping, the Director of DCCI Internet data centers in China, said that it will be very hard for Facebook to expand in China’s current Internet environment, for most social networking already happens on QQ, Renren, or Kaixin001.
Pretty strategic of China, right? Let local businesses get a firm grounding, and then let in the outsiders to fight for the leftovers. Though Facebook’s performance has been spectacular – they recently surpassed Google as the most visited site in the U.S. Maybe that gave them enough of a confidence boost so they’re not considering entry into the country with the most Internet users in the world.