Snap, Inc. is building a presence in China despite the fact that its Snapchat app is banned in the country, according to a report from CNN. Snap’s Chinese operation will reportedly focus on Spectacles. The company already assembles the video-recording sunglasses in China, but the new recruits will focus on research and development. Job applications were spotted on WeChat by the Chinese tech news website NetEase. The job description requires potential hires to have at least three years of experience, and Snap is particularly interested in engineers who’ve worked at well-known Chinese tech companies such as Tencent, Baidu, or Alibaba.
China represents a lucrative market for many technology companies, given that it boasts the world’s biggest population and highest number of internet users. However, heavy censorship rules have made it extremely difficult for some US tech companies to establish a strong presence in China. Apps like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter are all blocked and access is only possible through roundabout solutions like VPNs.
Snap is offering its China hires a possible transfer to its US headquarters as well as stock options. Despite Snapchat’s ban in China, the company has drawn interest from local technology companies. Alibaba was reported to have invested $200 million in 2015, and Tencent was believed to have been part of its $60 million fundraising round in 2013.
It’s been a big year for Snap. The company released its first hardware product with Spectacles and followed that up by filing for its initial public offering, reportedly aiming to raise up to $4 billion with the IPO expected to come as early as March.