March 17 - Twitter CEO Dick Costolo's first visit to China is bound to stoke speculation about the company's business plans for China even though it's banned there. Fred Katayama reports.
Twitter is banned in Beijing and elsewhere in China, but that's not stopping its CEO Dick Costolo from visiting the world's largest internet market. He's set to meet government officials in Shanghai, and that's bound to stoke speculation about the company's plans for China. Although its key microblogging service has been banned there since 2009, Twitter has many Chinese clients for its mobile ad business, MoPub. But don't expect to hear about a business deal. Costolo has said he doesn't plan to open an office there any time soon. And the company that takes pride in defending free speech says it has no plans to change its service to enter China. Twitter describes Costolo's first visit there as a personal tour aimed at learning about Chinese culture and its tech sector. As he visits with officials and university students in Shanghai, the Twitter of China, Weibo, and its parent, Alibaba, are preparing to list in Twitter's backyard, the United States. Twitter stock has doubled from its IPO price of $26, but it's down 18 percent this year. It's trimming back those losses at the start of trade.