Before 2009: How Did Facebook Enter the China Market?

Facebook attempted to enter the Chinese market in 2009, but the Chinese government blocked its access due to the government’s restrictive policies on foreign media. As a result, Facebook had to look for alternative ways to reach Chinese users. The company set up a Chinese version of its website, called Renren, which allowed users to connect with their friends. Renren had a different look to the Facebook page and was focused on Chinese content, such as news and celebrity gossip. Despite offering Chinese users an alternative to its censored version, Facebook was unable to generate enough interest among Chinese audiences and eventually abandoned the project in 2011. Despite flashing out of the Chinese market, the experience gave Facebook insights into the Chinese language, customs, and culture that could serve the company as it continued to look for ways to enter the Chinese market.