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Facebook sets up US$30m subsidiary in mainland China

Facebook has opened a subsidiary in mainland China, records show, a long-awaited step for the social networking giant and its Mandarin-speaking founder Mark Zuckerberg.

The company, called Lianshu Science & Technology (Hangzhou), was established on July 18 with US$30 million of registered capital, according to China’s corporate record database. Lianshu literally means “face” and “book”.

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File photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

Facebook’s Hong Kong branch holds all of its shares.

Zhang Jinghai is named as the new company’s legal representative, while David Kling and Susan Taylor are listed as directors.

Kling is a Facebook vice president, while Taylor is the internet giant’s chief accountant, according to their LinkedIn profiles.

Zhang holds the same role at the company behind Facebook’s sneaky launch last year of a photo-sharing app for China called Colorful Balloons, which recreated Facebook’s Moments app.

The app never took off, marking another setback in China for Facebook. It has strived to breach the “Great Firewall” — which tightly controls China’s internet content — ever since its flagship social media platform was banned by Beijing in 2009.

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Mark Zuckerberg running through Tiananmen Square. Photo: Mark Zuckerberg via Facebook.

Facebook chief executive and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg has made several high-profile visits to China, once going as far as taking a photogenic jog through central Beijing while the city choked on smog.

He has attempted to cosy up to Beijing politicians as well, reportedly asking Chinese President Xi Jinping to provide a Chinese name for his daughter. Xi declined.

Despite the efforts, Zuckerberg has been unable to get Facebook unblocked in China. It remained inaccessible Tuesday in Beijing.

The new Facebook subsidiary, registered in the eastern city of Hangzhou, will engage in the development of network IT, technology services and consulting, among other services, the corporate filing showed.

Facebook sets up US$30m subsidiary in mainland China