What China Sees In Facebook?
(This is my piece today on Globalpost.com)
NEW YORK — Sometime in early 2013, if current trends hold steady, the number of Facebook users worldwide should exceed the population of China.
Call it a coincidence, but now it seems China wants a piece of the action.
Last month, analysts who monitor China’s gargantuan sovereign wealth fund detected signs that a deal was in the works to buy a huge stake in Facebook. Nevermind that access to Facebook has been blocked in China since 2009.
The fund, known as the China Investment Corporation (CIC), is a $332 billion portfolio that seeks to earn money from the government’s massive export earnings. It operates in almost complete secrecy, as do many sovereign wealth funds in the Persian Gulf, Russia and elsewhere. These have grown into major economic players over the past 20 years.
But a number of high-profile investment websites have quoted “inside sources” describing efforts by Citibank to secure for China a stake in Facebook large enough “to matter,” according to Business Insider. Citibank, incidentally, is undertaking a major expansion in China.
The logic behind such a deal from China’s perspective is clear. … (Read all about it)
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