Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is exploring ways to open a sales office in China to work with local advertisers, according to Bloomberg based on information obtained from people familiar with the plan of the social network giant.
It would be the first time for the social network giant to have employees in China once it opens it sale office there. The Chinese government is currently censoring the service of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) in the country. Its service was banned in 2009.
According to the source, the social network giant is expected to open its sales office within a year to increasing an increasing group of clients in China. The person requested anonymity because Facebook’s plan is still private.
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is in talk to lease a space in the Fortune Financial Center, which is located in the central business district of Beijing, according to other people knowledgeable about the plan. The social network giant is still considering whether it will hire contractors of full-time employees for its sales office in China. Another person said the social network giant needs to apply for an operating license in the country.
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) managed to sell advertisement to Chinese companies that aims to reach international consumers through its office in Hong Kong. China is still one of the large markets that remain modestly untapped for opportunities by the social network giant.
In an-emailed statement to Bloomberg, Vaughan Smith, vice president of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) said, “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.”
He refused to provide information regarding the location or the target schedule for the opening of the social network’s planned sales office in China.
Facebook Vice President Vaughan Smith said in an e-mailed statement. He declined to comment on the timing or location of a China office.
The social network giant wrote in its prospectus for its initial public offering (IPO) in 2012 that it wasn’t able to enter the Chinese market because of “substantial legal and regulatory complexities.”
During the recent Global Mobile Internet Conference in Beijing, Smith revealed that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has thousands of application developers in the country, and it is also providing ads to Chinese exporters, which only shows that the social network giant was able to make business in China despite the legal and regulatory obstacles.