This post originally appeared on http://business.asiaone.com/news/twitter-targets-chinese-advertisers

Twitter Inc has established an office in Hong Kong to target Chinese advertisers who plan to expand overseas.

The online social networking provider’s first site in China will provide online and mobile ad services to local brands across the country and bring Twitter a new source of ad revenue.

The office reflects the increasing demand in China for the services that this type of social media platforms offers, said Thomas Crampton, who directs the social media campaign programme at advertising company Ogilvy &Mather.

The San Francisco-based company wants to attract Chinese companies interested in expanding into international markets.

“We’re capitalizing on this growing trend where the most ambitious, entrepreneurial and successful Chinese companies want to go global, and we believe that Twitter is an essential way for them to connect and engage with the world,” Shailesh Rao, Twitter’s vice-president for the Asia-Pacific region, the Americas and emerging markets, told Hong Kong-based newspaper South China Morning Post.

Many well-known Chinese companies already use Twitter to reach audiences in foreign markets. The Twitter account of the official Xinhua News Agency, the country’s largest news organisation, has 1.36 million followers worldwide.

Corporations including Lenovo Group Ltd and ZTE Corp also run ad campaigns on Twitter.

“Chinese companies understand really well the importance of social media to connect with people. The reason for this is the influential role that Chinese social platforms Sina Weibo and WeChat play in their home market. And when companies go abroad they are aware of the need to use these tools to reach new customers,” said Crampton, the social media expert.

Twitter has 288 million global monthly active users, 80 per cent of whom use mobile phones to access the social network. The company also has offices in Tokyo, Seoul and Singapore.

Facebook Inc has pursued a similar strategy to expand in the country. The company, led by Mandarin-fluent Mark Zuckerberg, opened an office in Hong Kong in 2011 to work with companies in China to advertise and launch marketing campaigns through the platform.

Last July, the company leased office space in Beijing. Facebook was said to have chosen a high-end office building in the capital’s central business district for its first mainland office.

However, the company has yet to occupy its new premises.

“No employees have started working here yet”, a worker at the building told China Daily.

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