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140 character-based social media company Twitter Inc. (TWTR) has created a new position titled managing director for China, and appointed Kathy Chen. The job entails that Ms. Chen to reach out to companies that communicate with their international customers and audiences via Twitter, even though the social media platform is blocked by the Great Firewall.
A big welcome to Twitter, @KathyChen2016! She joins us as our MD for China!
— Jack (@jack) April 15, 2016
Thank you for your support as we connect Greater China to the world! A video by @kathychen2016 , MD of @TwitterGCN pic.twitter.com/aX9GzZe2sc
— Twitter GCN (@TwitterGCN) April 15, 2016
Ms. Chen is experienced in developing strategic links between large American tech companies and a multitude of Chinese companies in different industries. Before joining Twitter, Ms. Chen was a general manager at Microsoft (MSFT) in China, where she oversaw the development of partnerships for cloud and enterprise products, like Microsoft Azure and Office 365.
Despite being banned by the government in mainland China, the country is still an important growth market for Twitter. The social media company has had issues overcoming a plateau in new user figures. Last year, Twitter opened an office in Hong Kong specifically to find new advertisers and media partners.
Ms. Chen will be based in Hong Kong and work with potential clients in the Chinese-speaking markets, referring to mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
Here is Twitter’s statement about Chen’s appointment per a Tech Crunch report:
“As a global platform, we are already engaged with advertisers, content providers, and influencers across Greater China to help them reach audiences around the world. Going forward, we will look to Kathy’s leadership to help us identify ways in which Twitter’s platform and technology assets can be utilized to created further value for enterprises, creators, influencers, partners, and developers in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.”
Twitter is not the only American tech company seeking new revenue opportunities in China despite the strict blockade of social media platforms. Facebook (FB) is also attempting to acquire Chinese advertisers, while Alphabet’s (GOOGL) Google division wants to cultivate relationships with developers, particularly those that use Google Play.
Unfortunately for Twitter stock holders, the news of the company’s new position only marginally increased stock prices. Shares of Twitter closed on the day up only 0.28% and have had no after-market activity. However, if Ms. Chen is capable of cracking the Great Firewall and making Twitter more acceptable to the Chinese market, then we can probably expect shares to increase.
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