Facebook has offered $85m to buy Zhanzuo.com, a Chinese local language social networking site, as reported by The Times. Zhanzuo.com is said to be one of the largest social networking sites in China with approximately seven million active users.
This acquisition would give Facebook an easy entry point to the largest internet market outside the US.
The UK-based business news website Financial Times estimates that China has some 162 million internet users and the average Chinese user spends between 14 and 19 hours a week online, compared with between seven and 10 hours in the US.
Facebook already has more than 100,000 users of its English language network in China and has now locally registered domain facebook.cn.
Entering the Chinese market carries risks for foreign companies due to the censorship and state monitoring of the internet. Last week, Yahoo has settled lawsuit alleging that it provided information to the Chinese government, which was used to prosecute the dissidents.
Source: ComputerWire daily updates