MIRANDA PAK WRITES – Twitter, which has been blocked in China since 2009, opened an office in Hong Kong on March 10. Tweeting was blocked in China because officials were worried that citizens would use social media for their own benefit and plan large anti-government protests.
Despite what many people think, Twitter actually wants to help Chinese businesses get into contact with people overseas instead of entering the Chinese market. According to Shailesh Rao, Twitter’s Vice President for Asia Pacific, Americas and emerging markets, the company is “…capitalizing on this growing trend where the most ambitious, entrepreneurial and successful Chinese companies want to go global, and we believe that Twitter is an essential way for them to connect and engage with the world”.
Even though Twitter is banned in China, many state-owned media organizations have Twitter accounts in order to target people overseas.
Twitter is among corporation giants Google and Facebook which are also opening offices in Hong Kong. However, social media is not the only thing expanding into Hong Kong. Good ol’ news publications are finding their way there, too.
The New York Times will launch Chinese Monthly, which is a 24-page publication with the Times translated into simplified Chinese. The New York Times is not able to operate in Mainland China, since the Time’s English and Chinese language sites were blocked in 2012. Chinese Monthly will be available in luxury hotels in Hong Kong and Macau due to its large concentration of visitors from Mainland China and the area’s less restrictive media. Even though this publication won’t reach all the people in China, it is definitely a good place to start.
Tweets, Facebook posts, Google searches, and news headlines: Hong Kong is about to be #trending.