Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s current trip to China has fuelled speculation that the social network may be made available to people living in the Communist nation.
Zuckerberg, who is visiting the country as a guest of Robin Li, the head of China’s biggest search engine Baidu, has previously hinted that he would like the social network to be made accessible in China. His visit has therefore prompted rumours that the trip could be the first step in the process to bring Facebook to the Chinese people.
A Facebook spokesman however, claimed that the meeting between Zuckerberg and Li "was just two nerds comparing notes. Keep the speculation in check."
Chinese experts have also stressed that if Facebook is to come to the country it must comply with the “Great Firewall of China”, before the country’s population of over one billion will be allowed to access the social network.
"If Facebook wanted to enter China, it would not have to change its function, because netizens here are used to copycats already, but it must, like other international internet companies, obey Chinese laws and regulations," said Hu Yong, a professor at Beijing University's School of Journalism and Communication said to The Guardian.
If Facebook was to enter China it would face stiff competition from established Chinese social platforms like QQ, Renren and Kaixin.