Facebook wants to open an 'innovation hub' in China

Facebook is trying a new way into China, after years of being locked out of the world's second largest economy....

Posted: Jul 25, 2018 1:52 PM
Updated: Jul 25, 2018 1:52 PM

Facebook is trying a new way into China, after years of being locked out of the world's second largest economy.

The social media giant said on Tuesday that it plans to set up "an innovation hub ... to support Chinese developers, innovators and start-ups."

Its function will be similar to Facebook hubs currently operating around the world, including France, Brazil, India and South Korea, the company said in a statement.

Facebook and other major tech firms have been blocked out of China for years thanks to the country's strict censorship laws.

In addition to Facebook, apps such as Snapchat, Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook-owned Instagram are banned in the country.

Facebook could still face hurdles opening its new innovation hub, however. A Chinese government notice listing a Facebook subsidiary in the country was taken down late Tuesday from the website where it was posted.

According to an archived version of the notice, Facebook registered a Chinese subsidiary in the city of Hangzhou on July 18 with a starting capital of $30 million. The only shareholder listed was Facebook's Hong Kong entity.

Related: Facebok's rhetoric on misinformation doesn't match its actions

"With censorship issues in China as a clear blockade for Facebook and social media platforms, this is an 'olive branch move' in hopes of penetrating this region over the coming years in some form," said Daniel Ives, chief strategy officer and head of technology research at GBH Insights.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has made several efforts to build a relationship with the country through frequent state visits and meetings with Chinese leaders, including President Xi Jinping.

Just last week, Zuckerberg gave the impression that efforts in Beijing had stalled. "We're a long way from doing anything [in China]," he said in an interview with Recode.

China has become an increasingly important innovation center for American tech giants like Apple and Google who have invested heavily in research and development in the country in recent years.

Related: Google bets $550 million on Chinese e-commerce firm JD.com

Last year, Facebook edged its way back into China by quietly launching a photo and video sharing app called Colorful Balloons, without attaching its name to it.

While the new innovation hub may help Facebook expand its presence in China, there is no indication its social media platforms will be made available to people in the world's most populous country anytime soon.

-- Serenitie Wang contributed to this report

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2506247

Reported Deaths: 55965
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings33129910834
Queens31382710273
Suffolk2383183590
Nassau2136033286
Bronx2067916745
New York1674924632
Westchester1433882338
Erie1054771938
Richmond882931930
Monroe835191180
Orange57192909
Rockland52859779
Onondaga51456755
Dutchess35411497
Albany30510386
Oneida28347582
Broome24121403
Niagara23795397
Saratoga20034197
Ulster17179277
Schenectady16525227
Rensselaer14618167
Putnam1242096
Chautauqua12281172
Oswego11449112
Chemung10740153
St. Lawrence10354124
Steuben9972173
Ontario9244110
Jefferson867574
Cayuga8582107
Sullivan839483
Wayne801884
Cattaraugus7586112
Genesee6904132
Herkimer6671125
Clinton663138
Tompkins646359
Fulton6228102
Madison6092102
Montgomery5865138
Livingston564971
Warren537181
Cortland528479
Tioga501271
Columbia4966111
Chenango463586
Allegany454296
Washington453367
Otsego452654
Greene434286
Wyoming433657
Orleans428087
Franklin417920
Lewis355038
Delaware350747
Seneca271663
Schoharie227221
Essex224531
Yates158827
Schuyler151317
Hamilton4343
Unassigned14424
Out of NY0310
Utica
Cloudy
47° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 44°
Oneonta
Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 37°
Herkimer
Cloudy
47° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 44°
Old Forge
Cloudy
47° wxIcon
Hi: 41° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 44°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
NEW Game Day Deals each week
Chapter Aesthetic October Giveaway
Cool To Be Kind 2021
Looking for work or looking to hire? Check out the WKTV Job Fair!
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve