Being blocked by the government in China isn’t stopping Facebook from eyeing up the best talent in the country for its workforce. The company is reported to be tapping China’s leading universities as it looks to make its US-based team more diverse and multi-cultured.
The world’s largest social network is targeting grads from five Chinese universities — including Tsinghua University in Beijing – as part of its program to recruit 900 employees from across the world, according to the Shanghaiist blog which cites a Sina report [Chinese].
Any new hires from China will need to relocate to the US however, as the recruitment drive isn’t just focused on China or indeed building a presence there. The company is said to be seeking candidates with undergraduate, master or PhD degrees in computer science-related subjects, with good C++ and (or) Java skills and experience of Perl, PHP or Python required.
Candidates that pass the initial two or three phone interviews and three face-to-face interviews, will get two rounds of coding on white boards to show their skills, as they look to land a competitive package:
All new employees are expected to work in California and Seattle, with annual salaries of around $200,000 USD. Welfare and benefits will reportedly be on par with Google employees, while work visas and even US green cards also offered for future Facebookers [from China].
Local reports [Chinese] say Hangzhou-based Zhejiang University has confirmed Facebook’s push but the university is yet to receive any finer details of the social network’s plans, which are still emerging in the media.
The move to recruit Chinese engineers is not a step into China but, with the company interested in the country, there would be obvious benefits were the service to be unblocked there. Facebook has previously been open to the idea, however the company revealed in its IPO documents that it is unsure if it can make the compromises necessary to appease Chinese authorities.
Zuckerberg himself is known to have taken a personal interest in China. His girlfriend Priscilla Chan’s family has links there, he has taken up learning Mandarin and is curious about the country, having spent time there during 2010.
His visit to China was officially a holiday, but Chinese tech media reported a number of rumours during his time in the country. According to a report from Bloomberg, Zuckerberg met with Baidu (which is a local equivalent to Google) and Sina (owner of China’s top microblog) as well as Alibaba.