Facebook signs an executive to mediate with authorities its entry into China

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Facebook has signed a veteran executive to mediate with Chinese authorities amid the efforts the California company is making to enter the Asian giant, the Wall Street Journal reports today.

This is William Shuai, a former employee of a Chinese government agency that in the last three years worked for the LinkedIn professional social network, in charge of relations with local authorities.

Shuai will work closely with China’s Facebook representative Wang-Li Moser, who was tapped three years ago to help the company establish relations with the Beijing government, according to the Journal.

Despite being blocked in China for years, Facebook has since an office in Beijing and last May announced its intention to open another in Shanghai, the economic capital of the south of the country.

Facebook has been blocked in China since 2009, when Chinese authorities increased control of web sites such as the popular social network, the video portal YouTube and Twitter.

Its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, has not disguised his interest in the social network entering China, where he travels often – his wife is of Chinese origin – and where he even gave a speech in Mandarin in 2015 at a university of Beijing.

Two hours after the opening of the stock market on Wall Street, Facebook shares were down 0.39% on the Nasdaq market, where they have shot up almost 50% since the beginning of the year.