Facebook, the world's largest social networking service (SNS), has stepped up its efforts in entering the Chinese market and plans to enter the country this year, according to local media reports citing unnamed sources.
But the reports did not elaborate on details about the plan.
Analysts point out there are only two ways for the popular site to enter the Chinese market; one is to establish a joint-venture and the other is a merger or acquisition.
Lv Benfu, vice director of the Graduate University at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said that if Facebook wants to enter China, the best way is to simulate the model of Myspace, which set up shop in China and shares data with the US market, but does not completely copy American ways.
Actually, as early as 2007 when Facebook registered the domain name of ".cn" and launched the Chinese version in 2008, there has been market information about Facebook wanting to enter the China market, but until now, the website has not done so.
"Facebook has tried many times to enter the Chinese market and its efforts have lasted a long time," said Hu Yanping, director of the Data Center of China Internet (DCCI). But he was not optimistic about Facebook's plan, since he believes that under the current domestic competition environment, the firm's advantage as an open platform will make it hard for it to complete effectively.
Yu Yi, an analyst at Analysys International, said that if Facebook enters the Chinese market as a traditional SNS, there is less room to develop.
But Lv believed that Facebook's entrance into China may affect domestic SNS networks since many applications of the domestic SNS networks just copied Facebook, as the American-based website is the leader in the varieties of software applications.
Also, compared with the Chinese mainland, Facebook has become the most popular SNS in Taiwan. According to the data from checkfacebook.com, Taiwanese users have exceeded 5.06 million, while those in the Chinese mainland are only 56,000.
Facebook saw good results in the global market, as March data showed that Facebook has exceeded Google as the most visited website over the search engine giant.