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Facebook is undertaking steps to open a sales office in China in order to work with local advertisers, said a knowl...
Facebook is undertaking steps to open a sales office in China in order to work with local advertisers, said a knowledgeable source who has asked to remain unnamed. Even though it is banned in China, Facebook is said to be in negotiations with an office tower to have its workplace moved over there within the next year.
An office in China could help Facebook serve an increasing number of customers in the country. The company is in negotiations to rent out space in Beijing's Fortune Financial Center, located in the center of the city's business district, according to people familiar with the subject. It is not decided yet whether Facebook will hire contractors or full-time employees for the sales office, which would call for an operating license.
China's market is one of the last that remains almost untapped by Facebook. Opening an office of this kind would indicate a significant step for the company. In 2009, Facebook's social-networking service was banned by the Chinese government. Therefore, the company was using an office outside of the mainland, in Hong Kong, building up a business in the country selling ads to companies that want to gain international customers.
“Today, our sales team in Hong Kong is supporting these Chinese businesses, but because of the rapid growth these businesses are achieving by using Facebook, we are of course exploring ways that we can provide even more support locally and may consider having a sales office in China in the future,” said Vaughan Smith, Facebook's Vice President in an e-mailed statement. He refused to comment on the timing or the location of a China office.