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Twitter Open an Office in Hong Kong

Chinese Democracy

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If that headline is a little confusing, bear with me, and if it isn’t, well bear with me anyway. Twitter has been completely banned in China since 2009, along with Facebook and Google, with Chinese government-approved alternatives taking their place (Weibo, in Twitter’s case). So, with that exactly is the point of opening a shiny new office in Hong Kong, as Twitter have done?

Well, there’s more to social media business strategy than just drafting more new users. While Twitter won’t be able to attract any of China’s hulking populous to the platform, they will be able to sell advertising space to Chinese companies that are interested in international marketing. This could well be the full extent of Twitter’s plans in China, but theoretically if they start to catch the attention of international business based out of the nation, more locally grounded firms will start to take notice and corporate pressure to unban Twitter could start to mount.

This is all speculative of course, but it seems unlikely that Twitter would go to the effort of opening a space and hiring new staff in Hong Kong purely because they want to give their ad revenue a shot in the arm. More to the point, Twitter aren't the only social media giants that have been extending their reach towards China, Mark Zuckerberg has been very publically learning to speak Mandarin for quite some time now and was recently caught with a copy of The Governance of China on his desk, a book penned by Chinese President Xi Jinping. Call me crazy, but I don’t think that’s an accident.

Any kind of initiative to actually win China around to re-adopting Western social media is likely to remain fairly cloak-and-dagger for the foreseeable future, but don’t be surprised if more little rumblings about Twitter and Facebook’s Eastern machinations continue to surface from time to time.


Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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Twitter Open an Office in Hong Kong Reviewed by Callum Davies on Wednesday, March 11, 2015 Rating: 5
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