Banned in China, Facebook opens office in Hong Kong

The new Hong Kong office in an undisclosed location followed the opening of offices in India and Singapore in 2010 and is part of Facebook's Asia expansion, the South China Morning Post reported.

Facebook, which has more than 600 million users worldwide, is blocked in mainland China but is popular in the former British colony of Hong Kong, which has freedom denied to people elsewhere in China.

"We're growing all over the world, and the Asia region is a big, big part of that," Facebook's vice president and commercial director for the Asia-Pacific, Blake Chandlee, was quoted by the newspaper as saying.

He declined to say whether Facebook would seek to have its ban on mainland China lifted, a subject speculated about since a visit to Beijing in December by chief executive Mark Zuckerberg.

"We always want all users around the world to have access to Facebook," Chandlee said. "In some places, they do, some places they don't, whether it be temporary or permanently."

A Facebook spokesman declined to say how many staff would work in the Hong Kong office, which opened Tuesday, or even where it was located, the Post said.

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