Facebook opens innovation platform in China

Facebook has opened an innovation platform in China , although the social network in the Middle Kingdom is being blocked by censorship.

Beijing (dpa) – With an investment of $ 30 million, Facebook registeredfor a company in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou , which is also the hometown of the Chinese Internet giant Alibaba , as emerged from the official registration documents.

The center should support developers, innovative entrepreneurs and start-ups. It follows the example of platforms that Facebook has set up in Brazil , India , France and South Korea . It is Facebook’s first official representation on the Chinese market, whose “big firewall” has blocked the network since 2009.

The official registration of the new Facebook company, however, was taken down by the responsible national website, without a reason was evident. However, the information was still found on websites of commercial providers such as Qixinbao, which collect such information from official communications. The news was also picked up immediately by Chinese state media.

China’s censorship is not only blocking the social network, but since last year it has increasingly disrupted the Facebook messenger service WhatsApp , which today can no longer be used. Other social networks such as Twitter, Instagram, Youtube and even simple Google searches areblockedin China .

The blockades are also directed against foreign news sites such as the “New York Times”, the “Wall Street Journal” or the Chinese version of Wikipedia as well as China-critical websites of human rights groups. Many internet users have tunnel software to bypass the locks. But these VPNs (Virtual Private Network) are often disturbed, so that the use can be tedious.