Facebook has made it fairly clear that the company plans to make its initial public offering sometime within the next year. The Wall Street Journal reports that the social media giant’s plans to expand into China could complicate the matter.
China has a well-established history of poor relations with Western internet companies. The country currently censors much of the web, including Facebook, and attempts to expand there by Google and Yahoo have both ended in disaster.
However, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg posed the question, “How can you connect the whole world if you leave out a-billion-six people?”
Facebook already draws 70 percent of its users from outside the U.S. and Zuckerberg insists that the site has already made efforts to tailor itself to the customs and cultures of other countries. The company plans to make the same accommodations for China.
The Journal previously reported, however, that at least one group, Human Rights Watch, has already called out the company for plans to censor free speech and the move could hurt a company that has made a name promoting free speech. In addition, some could question how China might react to the situation Bloomberg reported with Vietnamese protests against China organized through Facebook.