Feeds

Banned Facebook promises Chinese devs GLOBAL glory

Zuck's lads poke around superpower's backdoor

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Facebook has drilled into China’s burgeoning software development industry to expand its range of apps despite the social network being banned in the country.

David Lim, an engineer in the firm's mobile dev division, told Bloomberg that programmers from the People’s Republic make up about 20 per cent of Facebook’s network in Asia, more than any other country in the region. According to Lim, Facebook moved into the continent by opening offices in Seoul, Hong Kong, Singapore and Hyderabad, India.

Although Mark Zuckerberg's reservation is blocked by the Great Firewall of China, it partners with local biz, such as Beijing-based games maker Rekoo.com, to get its foot in the Asian superpower's backdoor. Meanwhile Shanda Games, China’s third-biggest online games firm, is said to be working on titles for Facebook users.

“We now have Chinese language help pages for developers, and we are working on giving them better support,” Lim told the news wire. “Developers in mainland China are important to us.”

Facebook, along with Twitter, YouTube and thousands of other web brands, are off-limits in the country by order of the Party, usually because the sites host content deemed socially, politically or culturally harmful.

That obviously isn’t stopping the firm harvesting talent from the growing app developer community in the country though, and it's a good opportunity for ambitious Chinese devs to reach a wider international audience.

Not that China is any slouch itself in the social space. New research from brand value analysts BV4 rated the People’s Republic second globally with social media brands worth $28bn compared to the first-placed United States with $82bn - and significantly better than Europe in third place with a measly $13bn.

With firms such as Qzone, Sina, Tencent and Renren leading the way in a country with at least 500m web users, there’s certainly a decent sized market for China’s home grown app developers, but one thing they’re not going to get is international reach.

“Because of the limited regional language and culture area it can be assumed that these brands will soon reach a saturation point and will therefore not be able to create a global presence,” BV4’s report said.

Facebook hasn’t ruled out an attempt at cracking the Chinese market, and post IPO it may suddenly find unbearable shareholder pressure on it to do just that. Perhaps for this reason Facebook’s IPO filing last month said it will “continue to evaluate entering China”.

“However, this market has substantial legal and regulatory complexities that have prevented our entry into China to date. If we fail to deploy or manage our operations in international markets successfully, our business may suffer,” the filing added. ®

Seven Steps to Software Security

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.