China, the minute I say the name it appears quite clear that anyone on the Web who plans to have a presence there has to go through loads of trouble. I mean we are all aware of the country’s strict policies and absolute control over information on the Web. Facebook as of now is planning something along the lines too, the social network already has a Facebook.cn domain registered to its name for almost 3 years now and there isn’t much beyond that.
The biggest issue with Facebook heading to mainland China is its absolutely confusing privacy strategy. The social network is always planning to go from one that was very private to being very open and that is exactly what China and its Internet Watchdogs would have trouble with. The country according to many reports keeps things under its strict control, hiring Web police that is comprised of paid commentators to keep conversations anywhere in favor of the country.
So if Facebook really plans to step in the region it will have loads of trouble trying to comply with the country’s laws and the very first thing it will have to do is limit how accessible information of users in China is to the search engines and the rest of the world. It may even have to modify it to an extent where people outside the region are restricted from inviting friends there. I wont drag it in paragraphs and divide it in a few points to make it clearer:
Facebook’s strategy on User Data being shared by third party would be absolutely unacceptable in the country.
If Facebook does modify it for China, the rest of its users would start a war against it.
Facebook’s reputation would take quite a dent as heading over to China means breaking its own rules that is rapidly drafting to make user data more public [in some manner and to certain extent].
Battle the supremacy and dominance of Social networks in China, Google has had the same issues.
Facebook will have to make huge sacrifices and shift more control to authorities in China so each and every activity on Facebook there is monitored.
To cut it short, there will be more losses to Facebook added to the gains. What it must rather try to achieve is get the authorities in China to relax its policies towards the social network. Which if I am not wrong is impossible.