Wide Speculation Spread As CEO of Twitter Visits China.
CEO of Twitter Dick Costolo will be meeting Shanghai government officials, academics and students during his first time visiting China, which shows Twitters growing interest in taking a change in a lucrative but unstable market with 600 million Internet users.
The Planned visit.
While China may have blocked the site with censors back in 2009, Twitter has described this trip as a personal tour for Costolo, who’s due to land at Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport sometime on Monday and plans to spend three days at the business capital. Beijing is currently not scheduled to be on of his many visits.
Costolo has been scheduled to meet with the Shanghai government officials, which also include the representatives of the Shanghai Pilot Free Tradezone, which had originally been established back in 2013 to test market liberlization measures, such as more diverse rules controlling currency conversion and foreign direct investment. Although, officials have gone out of their ways to deny media reports of Internet restriction and censorship, which includes the block placed on twitter, being loosened there.
Twitter senior management has denied the fact that they would try to seek out a license to do business there, unlike there Facebook counterparts, whose CEO Mark Zuckerberg is a common visitor to China and has tried to openly speak of his desire to enter China and fulfill his vision of connecting everyone around the globe.
Of course, Costolo’s trip will being to cause wide speculation to spread about the company’s possible ambition in the country. Other big name companies like Google and Yahoo have been stalled by Chinese government intervention. Google had decided to pull out of mainland China back in 2010, unwilling to accept the heavy-handed censorship of the Internet.
Attempting to gain entrance in China with Beijing’s approval will be a highly delicate proposition for Twitter, which has taken pride in its reputation for defending free speech and rebuffing government request for private data users.
The Visiting Reason.
In a statement to Reuters, Twitter declined to disclose what Costolo intended to bring up with Chinese officials.
“Dick is visiting China because he wants to learn more about Chinese culture and the country’s thriving technology sector,” a Twitter spokesman said.
Costolo will not be expected to ask Chinese authorities to life the Twitter ban. Twitter themselves has straight up rejected any possibility of offices opening anytime soon in China, which would place it in the hands of Chinese law.
The CEO has planned to meet up with university administrators and participate in round-table discussion with various students at the Fudan University in Shanghai, who are the official sponsors of his visa.