A subsidiary that that has $30m (£22.2m) in registered capital was quietly established by Facebook in China. Its Hong Kong business is the single shareholder.
Reuters first reported that last week, an official business registration was filed for the firm in Hangzhou. The operations of the social media giant will include investment consultancy, marketing planning, and network information technology development and related services.
However, late on Tuesday, in a sign of potential complications, the corporate registration was taken down from the government website of China, and some references to the new subsidiary seemed to be censored on social media in the country.
The social media site of Facebook remains blocked by the government of China which imposes strict censors on foreign news outlets. Google’s search engine is also banned in the country. Twitter and Whatsapp, the messaging service that is owned by Facebook is also banned by the Chinese government.
The news signifies a move by Facebook in the footsteps of other tech companies that are looking to expand their presence in China, without sparking criticism from the nation’s government.
Most of the companies have turned to research and development, and manufacturing efforts that could fall under the Made In China plan of President Xi Jinping, which aims to encourage and support the country’s local industry through innovation by 2025.
Recently, an artificial intelligence laboratory was launched by Google in the country, in addition to developing various apps that are dedicated to the Chinese market. According to Reuters, Apple was able to also “heavily modified” its app stores to comply with the censorship restrictions of China over the past year.
Earlier this month, Tesla, the electric car manufacturer. announced plans to estsblish a gigafactory that will be located in Shanghai that could produce 500,000 cars every year. The firm has so far built approximately 18,000 cars this year.