Why Mark Zuckerberg Came to China and Why Facebook Will Not
Quora has an excellent thread on Zuckerberg’s visit that discusses two different options should Facebook seek to access the China market:
1. A censored or separate Facebook
2. Provide free technology to circumvent The Great Firewall
I argue that neither is likely for the foreseeable future. Instead, the likely course is a continuation of the status quo: no Facebook China. Facebook neither appeases nor pisses off the Chinese government (with circumvention technology). Instead, it concentrates on encircling China by dominating the neighboring markets in Russia, Korea, and Japan. If it succeeds, Facebook has then conquered every major nation on earth except China.
If Facebook is keen to establish a China presence, the most realistic step is to open a Beijing office for R&D, serving HK and Taiwan, and helping Chinese Facebook developers (who are surprisingly numerous (see the Top 10 Chinese Developers) and love Facebook). Facebook currently has offices in Palo Alto and Austin (US), Dublin (Ireland), and Hyderabad (India)–China would be its first office in a market it has not yet conquered.
See also, “Mark Zuckerberg and China-A Love Story” from DigiCha.