Will Facebook’s entry in China be disastrous or good?

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Updated: December 15, 2016 12:59:34 PM

It is believed by many that Facebook may not have a great future in the country even if it is allowed to return to the Chinese market. However, the opposite of this belief may also be possible.

facebook, china, facebook in china, mark zuckerberg, global times, Xu Qinduo, world news, financial expressThere is a view both Facebook and China can win if the social media company enters the country. (Image: Reuters)

Facebook’s future in China is still uncertain. It is believed by many that the social media giant may not have a great future in the country even if it is allowed to return to the Chinese market. However, the opposite of this belief may also be possible.

Last month, the New York Times had reported that Facebook Inc has developed a new censorship tool to persuade Chinese authorities for the company’s re-entry in the world’s second-largest economy after a seven-year ban. The censorship tool can allow authorities to monitor popular posts on the Facebook. Supported by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, the software can suppress posts from appearing in people’s news feeds in specific geographies.

The NYT report had, however, said there was not any indication that Facebook had offered the new censorship tool to the Chinese authorities. It was just one of the many ideas the company had discussed with the country’s officials in a bid to regain access to the Chinese market.

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In May, the Beijing High Court had ruled in favour of Facebook in a trademark case and it was believed that China may soften its stand against the company.

Zuckerberg had then also met China’s chief censor officer and the head of Communist Party of China’s propaganda apparatus, an IANS report had said.

Even as there has been no clear signal for the end of the ban on Facebook in China, some critics have warned the company may not have a great business in the country.

However, there is another view also which says that both Facebook and China can win if the social media company enters the country.

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Xu Qinduo writes in the Global Times that Chinese officials have welcomed Facebook on the condition that the company will follow rules of the country. China is always concerned about national sovereignty, unity and social stability

Xu says that Facebook’s investment in China will create jobs and generate revenues. Moreover, it will put pressure on other existing social media players like Weibo and WeChat and lead to “innovation and better service”.  “The country doesn’t really care if Facebook invests in China or not. Whether and how to enter the Chinese market will be a decision made by Facebook and for its own benefit. But if made, it’d be more than not a win-win,” writes Xu.

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