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Facebook says it may open sales office in China

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during a news conference at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, California May 26, 2010. REUTERS/Robert
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during a news conference at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, California May 26, 2010. REUTERS/Robert

(Reuters) - Facebook Inc said it may consider opening a sales office in China to provide more support to local advertisers who use the website to reach customers overseas.

While Vaughan Smith, Facebook's vice president of corporate development, told Reuters it was exploring ways to provide even more support locally, he did not comment on how soon it plans to be in China.

Facebook currently has a Hong Kong sales office with a staff of 30 to 40 people who deal with advertisers locally and in mainland China, where its services are blocked. The sales office would, for the first time, put Facebook employees inside mainland China.

Bloomberg on Monday reported that Facebook could open an office in China within a year, citing a person familiar with the matter. (http://r.reuters.com/vag39v)

The world's largest social networking company is in talks to lease space in the Fortune Financial Center in Beijing's central business district, Bloomberg said.

(Reporting by Mridhula Raghavan in Bangalore and Alexei Oreskovic in San Francisco; Editing by Richard Chang and Eric Walsh)

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