Facebook : China
Snowball : Hell
Not content with almost total domination in Western markets, social networking behemoth Facebook could be planning an assault on China if it can just do a deal with the authorities there, its latest regulatory filing has revealed. The firm’s IPO filing with the SEC last week provided commentators with a wealth of interesting …
Snowball : Hell
Already exists... it's called RenRen and it's already gone public.
Similarly, there is already a *Russian* FaceBook (my partner is Ukrainian and has accounts on both FaceBook and the Russian equivalent).
As PhillipN points out, FaceBook has a snowball in hell's chance of cracking these markets... it is already too late. They don't stand a hope of achieving the same mind/heart-share as the home-grown equivalents in these markets, or the fact that networks such as these live or die on whether or not the service provider understands - and caters for/panders to - the mindset of their audience.
But it's a great excuse for raising $5bn, most of which will find it's way into the pockets of the 1%.
Considering the sheer number of college students in China, it would seem that RenRen will soon eclipse fb's global active users count.
There is no WAY in hell China will allow fb or a fb subsid to tap into and exploit the academic lineups, clasroom-online meetings, and academic track records of students who could be brain-drained away from China. It doesn't matter that China can lure back many of these students.
Another possible concern of a wary RenRen and a wary China might be the risk of subterfuge or info injection by non-Chinese parties who act at the behest of the US Department of State. Such people or operatives could try to clandestinely hook up with and manipulate students. Such an act could devastate the user base if a tapestry of real and presumed "contacts" got rounded up and just either vanished or got kicked out of school.
No, fb most likely will not get to enter. But, the USA will likely kick up a bunch of dust over it until things cool off.