Facebook Coming to Shanghai

Ever since being banned in mainland China in 2010, Facebook has been desperately trying to snake its way back into the land of the Red Dragon.

And it may have found a route through Shanghai.

According to the New York Times, which quoted people with “knowledge” of the situation, Facebook plans to open an office in Shanghai to build company hardware. But the employees will also be there to assist in expanding Facebook’s “broader ambitions in China.”

What can that mean? Who knows other than Mark Zuckerberg and his inner circle? But the social media behemoth is no stranger to secrecy. Facebook even tried to get a foothold back in China by launching a photo-sharing app called “Colorful Balloons.” It was actually based off the company’s Moments app minus all its branding.

The app. was a flop.

But it was reportedly put there for the company to get a better understanding of the Chinese market.

Still, even Zuckerberg himself has been active in the country. He’s been spending time there rubbing elbows with government officials, chatting with President Xi Jinping about potential baby names, and gingerly jogging across Tiananmen Square — a site that several Chinese citizens, unsurprisingly, did not have great affection for.

About Andrew Burke 145 Articles
Editor-in-Chief Andrew Burke is a lifelong aficionado of all things Chinese. He studied Mandarin while living in Taiwan for six years and now works as a digitization specialist at the Yenching Library, which specializes in Asian books and documents, at Harvard University where he also studies topics related to China, Chinese, Asia and foreign affairs.