The Chinese government has been blocking access to Facebook since July 2009, when a series of anti-government riots appeared in the Xinjiang province. The activists reportedly used Facebook as their main communications channel. Chinese authorities have no control over foreign social networks and see them as a threat to social and political stability, hence a long list of foreign internet sites, Facebook among them, are no longer easily accessible in China. Some people, however, access blocked websites by connecting to a virtual private network (VPN).
What is the future of Facebook in China?
Facebook’s most recent attempt to make a comeback in July 2018 was immediately prevented by the Chinese authorities. It is unlikely that China will allow it for as long as Facebook refuses to store its data servers within the country’s borders. Besides, keeping foreign social media banned is economically beneficial for such Chinese social networks as WeChat, Sina Weibo and Youku Tudou. WeChat, the most popular Chinese social media platform and messaging app, seems to successfully fill the “Facebook void” for at least a billion monthly active users.
Number of Facebook users in China from 2017 to 2023
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Statista. (February 18, 2019). Number of Facebook users in China from 2017 to 2023 (in millions) [Graph]. In Statista. Retrieved November 27, 2022, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/558221/number-of-facebook-users-in-china/
Statista. "Number of Facebook users in China from 2017 to 2023 (in millions)." Chart. February 18, 2019. Statista. Accessed November 27, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/558221/number-of-facebook-users-in-china/
Statista. (2019). Number of Facebook users in China from 2017 to 2023 (in millions). Statista. Statista Inc.. Accessed: November 27, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/558221/number-of-facebook-users-in-china/
Statista. "Number of Facebook Users in China from 2017 to 2023 (in Millions)." Statista, Statista Inc., 18 Feb 2019, https://www.statista.com/statistics/558221/number-of-facebook-users-in-china/
Statista, Number of Facebook users in China from 2017 to 2023 (in millions) Statista, https://www.statista.com/statistics/558221/number-of-facebook-users-in-china/ (last visited November 27, 2022)