Twitter has been blocked in mainland China since 2009, along with fellow US digital giants Facebook and YouTube.
In the absence of US competitors, local messaging and microblogging services WeChat and Sina Weibo have gained a strong following, which would make any subsequent entry into China tricky.
By opening up a Hong Kong office – a move also made by Facebook – Twitter is stepping up its efforts to convince the Chinese government to unblock it.
Even if it does not achieve this, the office – led by Twitter’s head of sales for emerging markets Peter Greenberger – will allow Twitter to target Chinese advertisers.
Greenberger told the South China Morning Post: “We’re very strong in markets that Chinese companies are targeting. We think this office will help connect Chinese companies to the world.”
“Our ideal customer is someone who is advertising on Weibo and wants to do the same for an international audience.”
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