(Yicai Global) July 25 -- Facebook said it plans to set up a technology innovation center in China to help local developers, innovators and startups.
The US social media giant's accelerator would support Chinese companies that are looking to expand abroad, tech news platform 36Kr reported, adding that other businesses are not ruled out. The hub will help with technology development, technical services, and investment consulting.
Facebook aims to set up the base in eastern Zhejiang province, the California-based company, whose social media site is blocked in China, said in a statement. It has similar hubs in France, Brazil, India and Korea. The company did not disclose when operations in China would start.
Facebook founder and Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg has been working hard in building a close relationship with China for the past 10 years, including visits to meet senior officials, and even posting a picture of himself running in smoggy Tiananmen Square in 2016. So far only Oculus, Facebook's virtual reality arm, has an office in Shanghai.
An application by Facebook's Hong Kong sales office to register a USD30 million subsidiary called Facebook Technology in the Chinese city of Hangzhou, home to Alibaba Group Holdings, was approved earlier this month. The registration documents list Facebook Hong Kong's General Manager Zhang Jingmei as legal representative.
Google, whose main services are also blocked in China, has likewise taken steps to expand its presence in China this year. The company entered its first partnership with a Chinese university on artificial intelligence and other tech fields at the end of May. The tie-up was unveiled on the same day as the US internet firm brought out its second mobile app in the country.
Editor: Emmi Laine