Feeds

Banned Facebook promises Chinese devs GLOBAL glory

Zuck's lads poke around superpower's backdoor

Reducing security risks from open source software

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. ®

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

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
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
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.