When world’s two largest economies collide, businesses tends to suffer. Ever since the two countries have been on each other’s throats leading to weakening ties, companies on both ends of the spectrum have found it difficult to manage operations. But defying the odds and the friction coming from East, Facebook is planning to invest in pushing ads in China.
According to a Reuters report, the Asia Pacific headquarters of Facebook have been assigned the task of designing tools to provide adds while working around the internet restrictions in the country.
China has been the second biggest market for Facebook’s ads business.The social networking giant reported revenues of over $5 billion from Chinese ad business alone in 2018. The country is only behind homeland U.S., which reported $24.1 billion in the same year.
Facebook has been eyeing to expand its base of operations in the country, with Zuckerberg even making a trip in 2016. The plans were ultimately slashed as ties between China and Facebook’s homeland U.S. worsened over time. Even so, the company is still determined to do whatever it takes to reach the marketplace.
Facebook has vowed to make it easier for smaller companies in the country to become global. The company has deployed a dedicated team in Singapore just for this task, as it believes that proximity to regional competitors and sales staff will lead to better ads features.
The team comprises of experts from Facebook’s Silicon Valley headquarters. It consists of “tens” of people and will be lead by Hao Xu, a nearly 9-year veteran of Facebook who previously worked in the Growth unit, managing the effort.
TikTok was the first Chinese company to use Facebook’s ad platform to generate revenue from the cultural phenomenon that it had become. ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company surged app-install ads on Facebook’s ad network. The company pulled back in 2019, as it was speculated that it had reached a saturation point and had extracted as much users from the platform as possible. Things also went south when Zuckerberg openly called out TikTok for kowtowing to Chinese government’s censorship rules.
After that, ByteDance launched its own ads business, becoming Facebook’s rival.
More smaller companies may try to follow ByteDance’s example and use Facebook’s ad business to grow. However, that is a long ways down the road, as the company is still trying to navigate its way through China’s ‘great firewall’.