Facebook opens Hong Kong office in Asia push

Feb 09, 2011
A woman types her password to enter Facebook via her phone. Facebook has opened a Hong Kong office as it looks to boost its presence in Asia, even though the social networking giant is banned in mainland China, a potentially huge market.

Facebook has opened a Hong Kong office as it looks to boost its presence in Asia, even though the social networking giant is banned in mainland China, a potentially huge market.

The opening of the sales office in Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous Chinese territory, comes after Facebook opened an office in Singapore last year, as and Internet traffic see a marked rise in the region.

Last March the California-based group announced a new office in the southern Indian IT hub of Hyderabad to deal with advertising and customer support.

The Hong Kong opening, "following Singapore demonstrates Facebook's commitment to Asia, and in particular to Hong Kong and Taiwan, where there are active online populations and sophisticated digital marketing communities," Facebook said in a statement Tuesday.

The company, which already has a network of sales offices in North America and Europe, said more than 80 of the top 100 advertisers in the United States advertise on Facebook, adding that it is working with major brands across Asia.

"We are investing in a team to scale with the business here in the region, and will start with a handful of employees and add more as the business grows," a spokeswoman said.

She declined to disclose the number of Facebook users in Hong Kong and Taiwan. The site has about 500 million users worldwide.

Blake Chandlee, Facebook's vice-president and commercial director for emerging markets, played down the idea that the Hong Kong office is a sign that Facebook is eyeing a move into China -- where it remains banned.

"We have no plans right now to talk about entering into mainland China and trying to be aggressive in that," he told AFP.

Chandlee said the site was available in "all the Chinese dialects" and "for us that is the first step in any part of the world to make sure people are able to experience Facebook in a language they're comfortable with."

Last year, search engine claimed it was the victim of a highly sophisticated cyber attack in mid-December 2009 that originated from China, apparently to gain access to email accounts of Chinese human rights activists.

Google shut down its Chinese search engine, automatically re-routing mainland users to its uncensored site in Hong Kong. The firm later ended the automatic re-direct to avoid having its licence suspended by China.

Other Asian nations have also presented challenges to technology firms with several countries including Vietnam and Thailand having moved to limit political debate online in recent years by attempting to block some sites, including .

Explore further: Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Facebook says Asia is fastest-growing market

Sep 21, 2010

Asia is the fastest-growing region for new subscribers to social networking site Facebook despite restrictions on access in China, a senior company executive said on Tuesday.

Internet firm in China stops using Google services

Mar 23, 2010

(AP) -- An Internet company run by one of Asia's richest men said Tuesday it has ended its affiliation with Google Inc. as the American search giant stopped censoring the Internet in violation of Chinese ...

Google's China answer page inaccessible

Aug 03, 2010

(AP) -- A Google question-and-answer page for Chinese users was inaccessible from mainland China on Tuesday less than a month after the search giant's Internet license was renewed amid a dispute over online censorship.

Official: Google's China changes in line with law

Jul 20, 2010

(AP) -- China renewed Google's Internet license after it pledged to obey censorship laws and stop automatically switching mainland users to its unfiltered Hong Kong site, an official said Tuesday.

Recommended for you

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

13 hours ago

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Apr 19, 2014

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.

US venture investments highest since 2001 (Update)

Apr 18, 2014

Funding for U.S. startup companies soared 57 percent in the first quarter to a level not seen since 2001, as venture capitalists piled more money into a growing number of deals, according to a report due out Friday.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

A homemade solar lamp for developing countries

(Phys.org) —The solar lamp developed by the start-up LEDsafari is a more effective, safer, and less expensive form of illumination than the traditional oil lamp currently used by more than one billion people ...

UAE reports 12 new cases of MERS

Health authorities in the United Arab Emirates have announced 12 new cases of infection by the MERS coronavirus, but insisted the patients would be cured within two weeks.

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...