Facebook has launched a simplified Chinese version

Facebook has launched a simplified Chinese version as it targets the mainland's burgeoning social network scene.

According to reports in China, the localised version of the site rolled out this week and will be the default page for new Chinese uses.

Speculation has been growing in recent months about a concerted push in China by Facebook. Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing has amassed a 0.8% stake in the company, leading to rumours of a tie-up with another of his investments, Tom.com. In addition, the network recently asked Chinese users to help translate the site.

China’s social networking scene is regarded as a major growth area. The company behind Xiaonei, a campus-based network with a very similar appearance to Facebook, recently secured US$430m of funding.

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