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This article was published on May 12, 2014

Facebook says it may consider opening a sales office in China, where it is still blocked

Facebook says it may consider opening a sales office in China, where it is still blocked Image by: AFP/Getty Images
Josh Ong
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Josh Ong

Josh Ong is the US Editor at The Next Web. He previously worked as TNW's China Editor and LA Reporter. Follow him on Twitter or email him a Josh Ong is the US Editor at The Next Web. He previously worked as TNW's China Editor and LA Reporter. Follow him on Twitter or email him at [email protected].

Facebook may be blocked in China, but that isn’t stopping it from moving forward with opening a sales office in the country’s capital, according to Bloomberg. The company is said to be in negotiations with an office tower to open the office there within the next year.

UPDATE: A Facebook spokesperson tells TNW that the company may consider a sales office in China, but didn’t elaborate further.

Chinese exporters and developers are finding Facebook is an excellent way for them to reach customers outside China. Today, our sales team in Hong Kong is supporting these Chinese businesses, but because of the rapid growth these businesses are achieving by using Facebook, we are of course exploring ways that we can provide even more support locally and may consider having a sales office in China in the future.

At the GMIC conference in Beijing last week, Facebook VP Vaughan Smith acknowledged that the company has a “rapidly growing” business in China in spite of the block. Opening a sales office would come as a natural next step to cater to Chinese businesses with international reach. Smith noted that “thousands of developers” are using Facebook to reach customers overseas.

It’s not unheard of for a tech company to keep a team on the ground in a country where its main product has been blocked. Google, for instance, has maintained a local sales presence in mainland China for years even after discontinuing its search operations there.

➤ Facebook Said to Take Steps to Open a China Sales Office [Bloomberg]

Photo credit: PORNCHAI KITTIWONGSAKUL/AFP/Getty Images