Yesterday, it was reported that China had approved Facebook’s new subsidiary that would be calling Zhejiang home, however that approval was short lived. It was later revoked and censored by Chinese media in the country. Facebook had planned to set up an innovation hub in Zhejiang, which is located on the eastern side of the country. It’s not clear as to why China withdrew the approval, but it’s likely something to do with the fact that all of Facebook’s services are indeed blocked in the country under its censorship laws.
While this does not mean that Facebook won’t be able to set up business in China, it does make it a bit harder and success is unlikely. Facebook had planned to use the subsidiary as an innovation hub to help propel Chinese developers to make the next big service, whether that’s a replacement for Facebook, or another app. Seeing as China is such a huge country, it made sense for Facebook to target the country – especially since the company has virtually zero presence in China currently, due to the censorship laws. But now that its approval has been withdrawn, it makes setting up shop in the Zhejiang province much tougher for Facebook.
What this does show is how hard it is for Facebook in China. Facebook is the world’s largest social media platform, but it can’t get into China – which is where nearly half of the globe resides. Of course, Facebook isn’t alone here. There are many other US-based firms that are having trouble getting into China due to the censorship laws in the country. This includes Google, Twitter, and many more. Even though Facebook was only looking to open an innovation hub in the country, the Chinese government decided that it doesn’t want one from Facebook in the country. Which is going to make it even tougher for Zuckerberg and co.