Amwal Al Ghad English - 2014-03-17 07:44:40
Twitter Inc CEO Dick Costolo will meet Shanghai government officials, academics and students in his first visit to China, signaling Twitter's interest in cracking a lucrative but thorny market with 600 million Internet users.
Twitter, which has been blocked by Chinese censors since 2009, described the trip as a personal tour for Costolo, who is due to land at Shanghai's Pudong International Airport on Monday and plans to spend three days in the business capital. He is not scheduled to visit Beijing.
Costolo is scheduled to meet Shanghai government officials — including representatives of the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone, established in 2013 to test market liberalization measures, such as looser rules governing currency conversion and foreign direct investment. But officials have denied media reports that Internet restrictions and censorship, including the blocking of Twitter, will be loosened there.
Unlike at Facebook Inc, whose CEO Mark Zuckerberg is a frequent visitor to China and has openly spoken of his desire to enter China to fulfill his vision of connecting the world, Twitter's senior management has played down the likelihood of seeking a license to do business there.
But Costolo's trip is bound to stoke speculation about the company's ambitions in the country. Major Internet companies including Google Inc and Yahoo Inc have been hampered by Chinese government intervention. Google pulled out of mainland China in 2010, unwilling to accept what it argued was heavy-handed censorship of the Internet. More»