Facebook’s Mission China

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logo face Amidst the fuss going around Amazon’s Kindle, social networking giant Facebook has generated buzz with its decision to acquire Chinese social networking portal Zhanzuo.com for a whooping amount of $85 million. There has been speculation going around for quite sometime about Facebook’s entry into the Chinese region and this news doesn’t throw a surprise at all.

China’s market is booming big time and as such China is the second largest internet market after the United states. The last few weeks or so have had quite a bit of news from China. There was news was about Facebook’s decision to register domain name Facebook.cn. Then there was discussion about Xiaonei.com, Facebook’s Chinese copy-cat.

So for whom is Zhanzuo.com and what generates Facebook’s interest in it? Zhanzuo is extremely popular site in student community and has a user base more than 7 million. Also, it ranks amongst the top 250 sites in China in terms of user-base, popularity and stuff like that. Add on that, Facebook’s already existing base of more than 100,000 users of its English-language network in China.

Duncan Riley has pointed out that Zhanzuo.com’s traffic has slowed down during the last couple of months. Well, if we go by the comments and the news reports Duncan looks to be wrong. As a matter of fact, Alexa had reset the counters to 0 for several Chinese sites including Zhanzuo.com. The funny logic of student’s school causing traffic dip looks a stupid one :)

There has been mixed reaction from experts about Facebook’s plans. One of the comment in Techcrunch says, ‘Although things are changing (towards western country), especially in big city, I am afraid it is still not a proper time for a site, like Facebook to become popular.’ Another internet analyst, a new media expert think the same. It might be because of strict norms or past incidents which caused problems for Yahoo in China. The bottom line is “There has been no successful foreign acquisition in China.”

However, that is history. Facebook is playing its cards well. Understandably after extensive research Facebook has zeroed in on Zhanzuo.com. So there’s a definite opportunity out there. Although the deal is yet to be finalized, if the move pays-off Facebook could really really make it big.

Update: According to Nick O’ Neill on AllFacebook.com the acquisition rumors of Zhanzou.com are false.  A Facebook PR executive is believed to have told Nick, “Facebook has no plans to acquire any company in China.”


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