Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) can’t do business in China, Brian Wieser told Bloomberg in a recent interview.
At the start of the interview, Wieser, senior research analyst for Pivotal Research Group, a company which looks at advertising and technology firms in China, was asked about his mention of WPP plc (NASDAQ:WPPGY) operating in the country. He said that the company was very bold in that, just after three years of it being transformed into the advertising giant that it is now, it held its first board meeting in China recently after the Tiananmen Square protests and massacre. He added that this has paid off for the company because it is now, by far, the biggest company of its kind in China and one of the biggest western companies in the country.
In connection to this, the team at Bloomberg then went on to ask the senior analyst about his thoughts on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) doing business in China. Wieser told the team that: “There is no Chinese business for Twitter or Facebook.” As for alternatives, he pointed out that there are alternative social networks in the country and that these companies are doing well.
Asked whether these domestic alternatives to Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) in China have any “spark” to them, Wieser said that though it is hard for him to comment on that because of the language barrier and the difference in visual layout, he observes that these Chinese companies have fanatical users and have “huge businesses”. He also added that while Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is increasingly being shut down in China as a search engine, “they are actually one of the biggest players in that tech in China.”
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL), along with Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and other companies, has been recently branded as threats to Chinese cyber-security by state media.
Among investors in Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is D E Shaw which holds about 9.03 million shares valued at about $544 million by the end of March. Another significant shareholder is Andreas Halvorsen’s Viking Global which has 8.82 million shares in the social media behemoth.
On the other hand, significant shareholders for Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) also includes D E Shaw which has about 1.02 million shares in the company. John Griffin’s Blue Ridge Capital also owns 1 million Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) stock at a value of about $46.67 million.