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Facebook’s Path to China

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg intends to develop a consumer business in China. In 2015, we’ll learn more about how he might do so.

For political reasons, the core Facebook service has been blocked by the Chinese government for the past six years or so, and that doesn’t seem likely to end in the near term.

But current and former Facebook employees and others who have advised the company about building a business in China say Facebook is contemplating other paths to market besides launching a version of the core service one day. (A full breakdown is below.)

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However, neither company has a significant engineering presence there nor are they developing products designed specifically for the local market. That could cap their progress.

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Joe Lonsdale
Joe Lonsdale
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We know that for Facebook, censorship doesn’t appear to be a big policy hurdle. Internally, Mr. Zuckerberg historically has told colleagues he would comply with China’s local laws if Facebook were accessible there.