Twitter looks to expand in China with Hong Kong office
Twitter has opened a new office in Hong Kong as it looks to expand its reach in the Chinese market.
Twitter is looking to develop closer ties with businesses in China with the launch of the social media firm’s first office in Hong Kong.
Despite currently being blocked in mainland China the company seems keen to exploit Asia’s biggest economy. Even if users cannot access the site, its physical presence in Hong Kong will enable the San Francisco-based company to tap China for potentially huge advertising revenues.
Facebook and Google opened offices in Hong Kong years ago, but Twitter’s advertising potential is really only just being realised.
Promoted tweets generated $479 million for the company in the fourth quarter of 2014 alone and it’s seen as the key area for revenue growth.
It hopes that a presence in Hong Kong will offer Chinese companies an easier way to advertise using the microblogging site. Although ordinary Chinese people cannot at present use Twitter, businesses and even some state-owned organisations, including the official Xinhua news agency, make use of the site to reach a global audience.
Shailesh Rao, Twitter's vice president for Asia Pacific, Americas and emerging markets, said the social media company wants to capitalise on helping the “most ambitious, entrepreneurial and successful Chinese companies” that want to go global.
"Opening our Hong Kong office now and hiring a sales team to work directly with advertisers across the Greater China market will contribute to our next phase of growth in Asia,” Shailesh Rao, Twitter's vice president for Asia Pacific, Americas and emerging markets told the South China Morning Post.
Twitter already has 288 million active monthly users and has recently opened offices in Singapore and Tokyo to expand its presences in the Asia-Pacific region.
Last month the US firm also opened its Jakarta office in Indonesia, where the company has around 20 million active users.
Of course China already has its own version of Twitter in the shape of Sina Weibo, the popular Chinese-language microblogging platform.