Is Facebook “Bound to Die” in China?

While reporting on Premier Wen Jiabao’s Facebook page, the Industry Standard also looks at Facebook’s chances of success in China:

Throwing the censorship issue into the limelight: Wen’s page features some criticisms of him and his country, concerning among other things, Tibet protests, environmental issues, and, of course, media censorship.

…It may be portentous that the Facebook name sounds like the Chinese phrase, fei si bu ke (非死不可), which translates to “doomed to die” or “bound to die.” Transliterations like this are a challenge of doing business in China (more on that here).

Facebook faces tough competition. Wildly popular Chinese instant message service QQ already has a social network, Qzone. There’s an even closer rival, Xiaonei, a Facebook clone that recently raised $430 million that is already popular on Chinese college campuses. Facebook may not have the right combination of features, some speculate, to appeal to Chinese users.

May 30, 2008 2:02 PM
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Categories: Economy, Sci-Tech