Sheryl Sandberg talks with Internet regulator in China

September 11
6:36 AM 2013

Sheryl Sandberg, the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook Inc, met with the head of the State Council Information Office (SCIO) in China yesterday. The SCIO is the government regulator for Internet activities in China. The social networking site has been censored in the mainland. Since 2009, Facebook could only be accessed by the Chinese through proxy services that could sidestep government restrictions.

According to a statement posted on the SCIO website, Sandberg met with the agency head Cai Mingzhao. The two talked about issues that included the significant role played by Facebook in enabling companies in China to expand operations abroad. However, the statement did not provide any details if any cooperation was arrived at.

Bill Bishop, an independent consultant for the technology industry based in Beijing doubted that the Chinese government had changed its stance about the social media company. Bishop said, "I would be very surprised if it means that the position on Facebook has changed. The reality is that to comply with Chinese laws and regulations, they would have to have limited or no contact with the rest of Facebook so what's the competitive advantage? I think they're kind of stuck."

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