Facebook May Enter the Middle Kingdom
By David Snyder.
Li Ka-shing, Hong Kong billionaire and CEO of telecommunications conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa, has increased his investment in Facebook in excess of $100 million.
Li announced the investment in Facebook during Hutchison’s earnings call on Thursday.
Li shared his opinions on Facebook on during an earnings press conference for Hutchinson:
“Facebook is doing very well, and we could have some synergy between the 3G services of Hutchison and Facebook, so the customers could use Facebook on mobile phones.”
Li invested $60 million in Facebook last December giving him a 0.4% stake in the $15 billion company. Li’s initial investment in Facebook came less than two months after Microsoft threw $240 million into the company. The exact amount of Li’s second investment not known, he did however leave the door open for further investments in the social network.
Rumor has had it that Facebook wants to set up a shop in China, following the lead of main competitor MySpace.
Li’s investment is an interesting gamble.
Chineese social networks, QQ, Mop.com, and Tianya.com, dominate the social landscape in China. Myspace has not been able to acquire a competitive marketing share, and that fact leaves a looming question mark for Facebook in the space. The site currently boasts over 200,000 members in the Middle kingdom, but that is hardly a competitive number in a country that has 210 million internet users.
Perhaps Li sees Facebook’s current talent grab as an impressive statement that they intend to figure out the answer to social media monetization. No matter the reason, Facebook has an increasing amount of fiscal ammunition that rivals only its staggering membership growth.
About David Snyder
David Snyder is the online marketing manager for THAT Agency.