If you want proof of exactly how important Facebook Inc(NASDAQ:FB) has become in the lives of people all over the world, and exactly how dependant people are on the social networking site, then all one needs to do is to look at China. Despite an official ban on the site, Facebook still has growing numbers of users in the country. The number of users of Facebook has reached a staggering 63.5 million, which shows growth by about seven million since the previous year.
GlobalWebIndex is a research firm based in London, and they revealed a survey on Thursday, which clearly showed how popular the site was, amongst the Chinese population. Facebook does not list China as one of the countries it provides its service to. In fact, this is categorically stated in the IPO proscepctus by Facebook. But despite the official claim, China seems to be getting more and more Facebook users by the day.
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The surveys which lead to these figures were started during 2009, and they went on in seven ‘waves’. These surveys made were divided on the basis of age, occupation, education qualification, gender and other such divisions, in order to be able to represent the population as well as possible.
The internet laws in China are quite stringent, and a lot of things are not allowed to be showed to the Chinese population. But despite the site being blocked by local internet network providers, the people can still visit the site through Virtual Private Networks as well as Virtual Cloud Networks.
However, these figures have not been taken as facts, and many other organizations have questioned the originality, and the truth of these figures. Other organizations pointed out that the real figure, in this case, is about 80,000, which is barely representative of any division, considering China’s overwhelmingly large population. They also said that people would not really risk VPNs and bother to install them in their houses just so that they could access Facebook on a regular basis.
The nationwide Firewall, which China seems to be adamant on keeping at all times, seems to be too great a risk for most people to breach.