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[liberationtech] Facebook moving to China?

Rebecca MacKinnon rebecca.mackinnon at
Sat Apr 9 05:17:15 PDT 2011
Is Facebook Moving Into China?
15 hours ago by Charlie White

According to the latest crop of rumors,
Facebook<>is about to make a deal
that will bring it into the vast Chinese market.

Though such rumors have been circulating since
the information is presently coming from numerous credible industry sources.

But don’t expect to friend anyone in China. Keeping with the country’s
closed nature, any new Facebook social network in China wouldn’t be linked
with the rest of the site.

According to *TechRice<>
*, Facebook will be partnering with
the largest search engine in China, valued at $50 billion. That’s if Hu
Yanping, founder of the Beijing-based Data Center of the China Internet (
DCCI <>), tweets the truth. He says Facebook has
already signed an official contract with Baidu to create a new social
network in China.

Marbridge Consulting<>has
also heard from multiple industry sources, which say Facebook will be
working with Baidu on the new China site, bolstered by rumors that Baidu
visited Facebook in February.

So we have tweets on top of rumors on top of blog posts. The preponderance
of evidence is that Facebook has something going on in China. But given that
China wants to prevent the kind of revolutionary fervor reaching a fever
pitch in the Middle East and Northern Africa lately, any version of Facebook
in China will likely be tightly regulated and censored.

Could this end up being like that pale imitation of
saw sprouting up in China late last year? And will China’s penchant
censorship mean a Chinese version of Facebook is doomed to die? Let us know
what you think in the comments.

Rebecca MacKinnon
Schwartz Senior Fellow, New America Foundation
Cell: +1-617-939-3493
E-mail: rebecca.mackinnon at
Twitter: @rmack <>
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