Sandberg Says Facebook Business in China Is `Thriving' Even With Ban

  • Sandberg says business is ``thriving'' in spite of ban
  • Chinese companies use Facebook to market outside the country

Facebook Inc. has built a "thriving" business in China, even though the government there has banned its use, by helping businesses in the country, Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said.

Chinese companies “want to connect with consumers all over the world,”
Sandberg said Tuesday at Advertising Week in New York.

China’s censorship laws prevent the country’s more than 600 million Internet users from accessing Facebook. Yet, in one example of how companies there are still using the world’s largest social network, Sandberg said a Chinese airline is advertising flights to consumers outside the country.

Sandberg also addressed how Facebook, which has 1.49 billion users globally, is aiming to lure advertising dollars away from TV networks in the U.S. This week, the company introduced a feature that lets advertisers buy online video ads similar to the way they purchase commercials on TV.

At the same time, TV networks are beginning to offer marketers more targeted ad products to better compete with Facebook as advertisers shift their spending online and demand more precise targeting.

The days when advertisers only bought 30-second TV spots are “gone” and an advertising campaign that combines Facebook ads with TV commercials increases a brand’s reach, Sandberg said.

“TV and Facebook really go together,” she said.

Separately, Sandberg said she plans to support Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and noted that every campaign has a Facebook page. 

“I would like to see the country have its first woman president,” Sandberg said.

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