Twitter Inc announced Tuesday the appointment of a new Singapore-based executive to boost its presence in the Asia Pacific and Middle East markets. The microblogging site, along with the likes of Facebook Inc and YouTube, has faced hurdles in its expansion plans in Asia after being banned in China in 2009.
“The company has promoted Rishi Jaitly to Vice President of Media for Asia Pacific and Middle East to lead the business strategy and build up the media partnerships function in these regions,” Twitter said, in a statement released Tuesday. Prior to this, Jaitly was Twitter’s market director for India and Southeast Asia.
The company also said it would seek to work with “key publishers,” who it hopes will use Twitter, Vine and Periscope to distribute their news and media content. In this aspect, Twitter, which was banned in mainland China over fears that it might be used to organize anti-government protests, faces stiff competition from Sina Weibo — the Chinese version of the microblogging site — in Hong Kong.
“The Asia Pacific and Middle East regions account for over half of the world’s internet, mobile and social media users today, so this is an exciting opportunity to connect with content partners to drive the global digital revolution from these markets,” Jaitly said, in the statement.
Before joining Twitter, Jaitly, a graduate of Princeton University, was director of the Knight Foundation and co-founded the Michigan Corps — described as “a community of social innovators and entrepreneurs” on its website — according to his LinkedIn profile.
In recent months, the company has been making efforts to expand its presence in Greater China as well as the rest of Asia. In March, Twitter opened offices in Hong Kong — pushing forward with its ambitions of doing business in Chinese markets — and Jakarta.
“[Jaitly’s] team will work with key publishers to prioritize Twitter as their first and immediate platform to reach, delight and engage with a mobile audience across Twitter’s live, public platform, including the Twitter, Vine and Periscope apps,” the company, which has nearly 316 million monthly active users, said, in the statement.