Facebook is gearing up to make its way back into China. According to a report from the New York Times, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has traveled to China multiple times to meet its internet leaders.
In the report, it was stated that the popular social media platform has developed a software that could potentially accommodate its Chinese users. This new tool will hopefully help Facebook to make its way back to China.
Back in the year 2009, the only way for people to access Facebook in China is to use a private network which “spoofs” a user’s actual location so as to avoid local internet restrictions.
Although Facebook already has 1.8 billion users worldwide, it is still looking to expand beyond its current market. This also means developing new technologies like what they’re doing right now to access other territories.
However, inside sources who are working for Facebook stressed that similar to other software that worked internally, this project might not be implemented.
According to BBC, China is notorious for their use of the “Great Firewall.” The censorship and surveillance tool affects around 700 million internet users in the country.
“What China calls the ‘Golden Shield’ is a giant mechanism of censorship and surveillance that blocks tens of thousands of websites deemed inimical to the Communist Party’s narrative and control, including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and even Instagram,” the Washington Post reported.
Arielle Aryah, Facebook spokeswoman, said that although they are interested in China, they are more focused on helping Chinese businesses and developers expand with the use of their ad platform.
“We have long said that we are interested in China, and are spending time understanding and learning more about the country. However, we have not made any decision on our approach to China,” Aryah told Reuters.
Aside from Facebook, Google is another Silicon Valley giant that pulled out of the country because of a backlash regarding its search censorship.