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Facebook Seeks to Connect China to the West, Urges Internet Freedom

Julia Sun
8/07/14 3:40 PM EDT
Climbing the great firewall of China is a goal most social media networks share because a successful break in means more than a billion potential users. Facebook has been banned in China because its government wants to control the flow of information. But, Chinese businesses who want relationships outside of the country are trying to get onto the platform more, and Facebook might have more opportunities. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg recently met with various Chinese officials to talk about a possible entry. Publicly, she is not setting a high bar. She said, "We are seeing China-based companies use Facebook to reach the global audience, and we think we have an opportunity just with their export market and we're focused on that for now." But Facebook has been studying China in its entirety for years. According to the World Bank, China has twice as many internet users than the U.S. and Canada combined, and the number is likely to reach one billion by 2020. China's most popular social network platform, Tencent, is expected to bring in $12 billion in revenue this year. Currently, users in China can only access Facebook using private networks. Facebook is continuing to push local officials to lift the public ban.
Stocks in this video: FB

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