Chinese internet users will now have easier access to the second-largest social network worldwide, as Facebook has launched a version targeting mainland China.
A version in simplified Chinese, rolled out this week, will be the default site for new Chinese users. However, Facebook users in Hong Kong and Taiwan can now also access an edition of the site with traditional Chinese script. Facebook has launched versions of the site in several different languages over the past year and is now available in French, Spanish and German. According to Reuters, about two-thirds of Facebook’s 67m users live outside the US.
The new version will give Facebook better leverage to compete with Myspace, which established a Chinese-language website in Apr 2007, as well as with local sites such as Xiaonei and Zhanzuo.
China recently overtook the US to become the world’s biggest internet market, with 221m web users by the end of Feb this year.