Thursday, December 29, 2016


Now here’s something of a complicated mess to talk about. We know that President-elect Donald Trump is keen on “bringing back American jobs from China” as it were; he’s even threatened to slap penalties on US businesses who insist on employing overseas. Now Snapchat, the photo-sharing social network app developed by parent company Snap Inc., is banned in China (along with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, etc.). However, the firm has already established its presence in the country despite the ban on its app, with it having the manufacture of its gadget add-on for Snapchat being done in China. Now they’re planning to go more steps further.

The Verge has it that Snap Inc. has started posting job applications on Chinese sites such as WeChat. Specific job descriptions include having three years’ experience in the field, with huge advantages give to applicants who used to work at China’s major tech brands such as Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent. Those who get in will work at a new tech office being set up by Snap Inc. in the city of Shenzen, which already has about 20 employees working there, to focus on developing and building up the base for Snapchat Spectacles.

This is the company’s first app-use gadget. In essence merely sunglasses with cameras attached to a corner of each lens, they’ll enable users to capture line-of- sight photo and send them directly via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to their Snapchat accounts.

At last count Snap Inc. is said to have over 1,500 employees worldwide, a majority of whom work at the company’s Los Angeles Corporate headquarters doing product design and engineering. While their app service, as said earlier, isn’t available in China (except through loopholes like VPN), Snapchat promises their Chinese hires some very competitive bonuses including possible transfer to LA at higher positions and the option for stock shares in their name. In addition, the company has got the same local companies that it’s poaching former employees from to invest in it, like reports of Alibaba’s $200 million investment in Snap Inc. in 2015, or rumors of Tencent chipping during the firm’s 2013 fundraising event that acquitted $60 million.

Shenzen, where Snap Inc.’s China offices are located, is just across the border from Hong Kong. A lot of startup companies are making their, ahem, start there; and some of China’s premium tech brands have their HQs there like smartphone maker Huawei and Tencent, owner of WeChat where Snapchat’s ads are.

Beijing-based consulting outfit BDA founder Duncan Clark remarks that even when Chinese can’t use Snapchat, Snap Inc. can still make money in the country by, for instance, serving as an overseas platform for local Chinese companies to advertise or expand their reach internationally.

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