NEW YORK/BEIJING: Twitter Inc executive Kathy Chen, brought in to run Greater China just over eight months ago, has quit, according to a tweet sent by her over the weekend.
Twitter has been blocked in China since 2009 but is still used through virtual private networks (VPN).
Domestically, the Sina Weibo microblogging platform and Tencent’s WeChat messaging app are more widely used. But Chinese entities, including the state news agency Xinhua, use Twitter to reach audiences abroad.
Chen, who had worked with Microsoft and Cisco, was brought in to lure more Chinese advertisers to the platform. At the time, social media criticism focused on her early work with Chinese state-affiliated enterprises.
“Now that the Twitter APAC team is working directly with Chinese advertisers, this is the right time for me to leave the company,” she wrote.
Twitter grew its Greater China advertiser base nearly 400% over the past two years, she wrote, making it one of the company’s fastest growing revenue markets in Asia Pacific.
Its Chinese advertisers have included Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi, online shopping giant Alibaba Group, white goods producer Qingdao Haier and flag carrier Air China.
“We remain committed to this market,” Chen said, adding the company’s Hong Kong office would remain open.
Twitter has been undergoing a significant shakeup, and not only in Asia, announcing in October that it would cut more than 9% of its global workforce to keep costs down. Parminder Singh, managing director for India, Southeast Asia and the Middle East, left the company in early November.
Twitter spokespeople in the United States and Singapore were not immediately available for comment. — Reuters