Dear Valued Visitor,

We have noticed that you are using an ad blocker software.

Although advertisements on the web pages may degrade your experience, our business certainly depends on them and we can only keep providing you high-quality research based articles as long as we can display ads on our pages.

To view this article, you can disable your ad blocker and refresh this page or simply login.

We only allow registered users to use ad blockers. You can sign up for free by clicking here or you can login if you are already a member.

Is Facebook Blocked In China? Most Likely, It Won’t Be Soon In One Area

Is Facebook blocked in China? The South China Morning Post announced on Tuesday, that the Chinese government will seek to lift the ban on Internet access within the Shanghai free-trade zone. This would allow citizens to visit websites such as Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Twitter for the first time since their ban in 2009. Since the nature of the views expressed in these websites could prove damaging for the government, many are anxious to see officials actually go through with the milestone proposal.

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)

The Chinese government has been very strict with regards to Internet regulation, blocking and restricting its citizens’ from accessing websites social networks. Deleting posts across the Web has also been a common practice in China, where 560 million people have access to the Internet. Facebook has been held back from penetrating the Chinese market due to the ban imposed in 2009. The lift of the ban, while only allowing the company to operate in the Shanghai free-trade zone, signals the first true entry into the market.

Should Facebook be granted permission to be accessed by the entire population of China, the firm could expand its user base drastically. The Chinese market could allow the company to continue growing, something which is proving increasingly hard for Facebook in current times.

Although the announcement comes as a surprise, and is welcomed by the Internet community, Facebook did not comment on the news. And shareholders should not feel too optimistic about a general change in policy, as the lifted ban only applies to an 18-square-mile area of the Free-trade District. This zone was only established in July 2013, and is one of several special economic areas, where export and international trade are eased by cutting certain restrictions.

According to the report presented in the Morning Post, the lifted ban could apply to the entire Pudong district over the next few years, adding an area of 750 square miles. However, even if Facebook were allowed to operate in this larger area, the social networking giant would have to face competition from already popular Chinese social networks. In the absence of Facebook, websites such as Weibo, Weixin, and have grown immensely, to fill the vacuum the government created by installing the ban. Citi analysts were optimistic about the plans, and responded in kind by upgrading Facebook’s rating to “Buy” and pricing it at $55 on Tuesday morning.

If you’re still curious if Facebook is blocked in China, continue checking back here for updates.

Disclosure: Pablo Erbar holds no position in any stocks mentioned.

Recommended Reading:

Can Facebook Get You Fired or Worse?

Facebook Inc (FB), LinkedIn Corp (LNKD): Why This IPO Will Be a #Buy

Facebook Inc (FB) Wants Video Ads

DOWNLOAD FREE REPORT: Warren Buffett's Best Stock Picks

Let Warren Buffett, George Soros, Steve Cohen, and Daniel Loeb WORK FOR YOU.

If you want to beat the low cost index funds by 19 percentage points per year, look no further than our monthly newsletter.In this free report you can find an in-depth analysis of the performance of Warren Buffett's entire historical stock picks. We uncovered Warren Buffett's Best Stock Picks and a way to for Buffett to improve his returns by more than 4 percentage points per year.

Bonus Biotech Stock Pick: You can also find a detailed bonus biotech stock pick that we expect to return more than 50% within 12 months.
Subscribe me to Insider Monkey's Free Daily Newsletter
This is a FREE report from Insider Monkey. Credit Card is NOT required.