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Chinese Firm Accesses FBX, Despite Facebook Ban


Best Be Mum on His Biz Interests

Even as China cracks down on anonymous internet usage and puts up technical roadblocks to methods an estimated 60+ million Chinese use to access an uncensored web, iPinYou claims to be the first Chinese firm to gain access to Facebook's FBX real-time bidding (RTB) pool of inventory. Geared to local Chinese advertisers, the inventory seems an odd choice, considering that the Great Firewall of China is set to ban all Facebook traffic.

The Beijing-based firm's chief said, however, that many Chinese firms operate in export markets, and having access to international inventory is useful in itself. Currently, she said, they are generally using search keyword click purchases to reach their markets.

Why the inventory grab? RTB inventory prices are seen as being five to 10 times less in price than the type of vertical media that exporters typically purchase. Why feed the vertical publishers when you can reach the same individuals for peanuts?

iPinYou has already hooked up with the RTB inventory pools of Alibaba and Tencent, along with a string of other Chinese firms.

Due in part to recent coverage of high level Communist Party corruption in western publications, notably the New York Times and Bloomberg - including illustrative narratives of how the families of China's highest leaders were able to become hyper rich through private equity deals offered by business people regulated or ruled by their patriarchs - the Chinese government has made it even more difficult to find stories on the internet critical of its leaders. Those publications have been filtered, and routes that used to work to anonymize traffic and get around the Great Firewall, such as certain types of virtual private networks, have been specifically targeted and scrambled.

This filtering activity has left some western internet firms with a dearth of native Chinese traffic. Notable for this story is the fact that Facebook is effectively banned in China, presumably because leaders fear the organizational capacity it might provide grass roots cause groups. MarketingVOX's site was first banned back in 2005 for coverage of changes in Chinese internet policies. For our mainland China audience, if precedent holds, you will be able to access our site again in roughly three months.

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