Even though Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) is blocked in China since 2009, the company has just opened an office in Hong Kong with the goal of helping companies in China to market its products to consumers overseas, as reported on Reuters.
Over the past 6 years, social networks Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) have been blocked in China. Just last year, the internet search engine giant, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) had most of its products, including Gmail and Google Hangouts, blocked in China after years of disrupted and intermittent service.
Beijing officials state that the censorship is necessary to maintain the social order. Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) was credited with helping fuel the popular uprisings in the Middle East and has maintained a stridently pro-free speech stance to the extent that it has drawn international criticism for failing to police sexist and racist abuse.
Despite the ban that officials have on Twitter Inc, there are some companies, including the state-owned Xinhua news agency, Huawei Technology Co Ltd as well as the state broadcaster CCTV and People’s Daily, the mouthpiece of the Communist Party have accounts and use the micro blogging service Twitter Inc to reach a larger, global audience. When Twitter Inc announced the opening of its office in Hong Kong, the company has highlighted its intention to help Chinese companies connect with users overseas rather than entering the Chinese market.
“We’re capitalizing on this growing trend where the most ambitious, entrepreneurial and successful Chinese companies want to go global, and we believe that Twitter is an essential way for them to connect and engage with the world,” said Shailesh Rao, Twitter’s Vice President for Asia Pacific, Americas and emerging markets.
According to the company’s official data, Twitter Inc, which claims to be the world’s largest real-time information network, has currently more than 288 million monthly active users. It has offices in Tokyo and Singapore. The expansion of the 140-character micro blogging company comes as it is trying to extract more revenue from its platform. China has been considered a “must” for global technology firms despite the regulatory restrictions the country has.
Twitter Inc is currently looking for an account executive and media partnership manager in Hong Kong. This means that it may have a plan to convince celebrities and entertainment or news companies to create accounts that will enable it to reach their international database. The office in Hong Kong is the second office that Twitter Inc has opened this month in Asia. Last week, the company officially opened its office in Jakarta. Indonesia is an important market for mobile companies and social media because it’s one of the fastest growing smart phone market in the world.
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