Facebook said last week it was contemplating re-entering China, the world’s second biggest economy, after being blocked nearly three years ago.
But its offering would likely face intense competition, political meddling and little commercial success.
Few foreign internet companies have succeeded in China. EBay Inc, Google Inc, Amazon.com Inc, Yahoo Inc and most recently Groupon Inc form the list of notable online players who have failed to gain traction in the fast-growing nation of 1.3 billion people.
“It’s actually a bit late for Facebook,” said Hong Kong-based CLSA analyst Elinor Leung, who added that the market was already quite saturated with local players such as Sina Corp, Renren Inc, Kaixinwang001 and Tencent Holdings.