The Business Insider is reporting that Facebook, the worlds most popular social network, has formed a deal which will see it partnered with the Chinese search engine company, Baidu, to form a new social site for China. The article is claiming that the reports are from the "Chinese press, citing inside sources," and that the Facebook.com domain will not see any part of the action, instead a new domain jointly owned by the two companies will be used.
Most social websites are part of the great Chinese firewall, meaning the majority of the population has yet to see Facebook or any of its features. However, this new deal will finally give Facebook access to the 1.3 billion people in China. (2009 statistic). So far it is not clear when the website will launch, or if it ever will since these types of partnerships require approval from the Chinese authorities.
Last year, there were numerous press reports of the the Chief Executive of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg visiting the CEO of Baidu in China, Robin Li. During October of last year, Zuckerberg addressed the students at Standford and asked, "how can you connect the whole world if you leave out a billion people?", "Our theory is that if we can show that we as a western company can succeed in a place where no other country has, then we can start to figure out the right partnerships we would need to succeed".