Twitter is blocked in China. But that isn’t stopping the microblogging service from continuing to pitch the country's advertising networks and business executives on the benefits of using the site.
Twitter Vice President of International Operations Shailesh Rao spoke during the keynote of the Consumer Electronics Show in Shanghai, which runs from May 25-27. "The moment is now, to take advantage of the tremendous communication capabilities for Asian and Chinese companies who have ambition and aspirations to reach world markets and audiences around the world," Rao said, according to CNET.
Twitter is still hoping to crack the Chinese market and get behind the so-called Great Firewall. "Obviously, we hope the government will change their minds about us, but until then, we can only do what we can do, which is to help companies go out. That's where our opportunity is," Deborah Ng, a Twitter representative, told Reuters.
During his speech, Rao shared how more top executives, including Tesla CEO Elon Musk and T-Mobile’s John Legere, are using the site to be conversational. Twitter has seen a 46 percent increase in use by chief executives, Mobile World Live writes.
But securing advertising deals, not just increasing the site’s user base, is a clear focus for the San Francisco company. Despite Twitter's being blocked, people in China can access the site via a virtual private network. Competitors Weibo and WeChat are widely used by Chinese companies.
This weekend's speech echoes what the company had told executives earlier this year, after Twitter unveiled its office in Hong Kong.
"Our ideal customer is someone who is advertising on Weibo and wants to do the same for an international audience," Peter Greenberger, Twitter’s sales director for emerging markets, said in March.