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Facebook to enter Chinese market with new site

Facebook to enter Chinese market with new site

Facebook appears to be gearing up to launch a Chinese language site as it registers a local web address in the country, which has the second largest internet market in the world with 162m users. The social networking site already has more than 100,000 members in its English-language service for the Chinese market, along with alumni groups for universities including Peking and Fudan. Facebook.cn has been registered by the US-based company, according to search results on government-backed China Internet Network Information Centre's website. The domain name Facebook.com.cn also has been registered to an individual working at a local internet service provider, but the web address redirects to Facebook's main Facebook.com page. The ".cn" suffix is commonly used for Chinese domain names. Social networking sites are very popular in China and its internet market is second only in size to the US. The move to register Facebook.cn could also be aimed at avoiding the copyright issues that Google has come up against. Google has had problems consolidating its trademark globally because of gmail.cn, which has been registered by a firm called ISM Technologies. The name is very close to Google's email service, www.gmail.com, and the colours in the two logos are also very similar. Last month Microsoft invested $240m (£117m) in Facebook, putting a value of $15bn on the site. No responsibility can be taken for the content of external Internet sites.

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