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China pulls approval for Facebook's planned venture

China pulls approval for Facebook's planned venture

Facebook, which said on Tuesday it planned to create an "innovation hub" to support local startups and developers, did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Its function will be similar to Facebook hubs now operating around the world, including France, Brazil, India and South Korea, the company said in a statement. Local equivalents, like Tencent Holdings Ltd.'s WeChat, dominate the country's Internet landscape, and in many ways the mobile app revolution has moved faster in China than elsewhere.

Reuters reported on Tuesday that a filing approved on China's National Enterprise Credit Information Publicity System showed that the social media giant had set up a subsidiary registered in the Zhejiang capital on July 18. Initial capital is $30 million.

Despite the obstacles, Facebook has been keen to operate in China.

Having a wholly foreign-owned enterprise in China does not change Facebook's approach in the country, the company said, adding that it was still learning different approaches on what it takes to be in China.

Facebook's chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, said in an interview last week with Recode's Kara Swisher that the company was "a long time away from doing anything" in China.

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He said they made improvements on security and the economy, saying the economic reforms are those in which "both of us will win". The Senate has several key races in agriculture-dependent states like Missouri, North Dakota, and in this November.

The decision does not necessarily spell the end of opportunities for Facebook in China, and the government's withdrawal does not mean Facebook was close to bringing its social network into the country, said investors who have worked in China.

Facebook has always been keen to get back into China, which blocked access to the platform in 2009.

In order to gain access to China, LinkedIn, the professional website, has agreed to comply with Chinese regulations.

Facebook's website remains banned in China, which strictly censors foreign news outlets, search engines and social media including content from Twitter Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google. The company obtained a license to open an office building in Beijing back in 2015, however, the permit lasted for only three months and the company had to let go of its dreams of setting up a base in the mainland China. "China has wanted to control what gets into the public hands which has made Google and Facebook's entry hard there", Elazar Advisors analyst Chaim Siegel said. Facebook's ads are so in demand that China has been the company's largest source of ad revenue in Asia.

Despite registration of Facebook Chinese subsidiary now, it seems very hard for the Silicon Valley enterprise to navigate China so easily.