An online post rumoring a possible Chinese campus recruiting drive by Facebook has intrigued the country's netizens, despite the fact that university officials have denied hearing anything from the company about the move.
Ruan Chao, a Chinese woman who works for Facebook as a software engineer, posted a message about a possible campus recruitment drive on a school message board belonging to Nanjing University.
Ruan said the company may launch campus recruitment programs in August 2012, targeting students at Tsinghua University, Shanghai Communications University, Nanjing University, Zhejiang University and Fudan University
Ruan's post was forwarded on Sina Weibo, a popular Chinese microblogging site, triggering rampant speculation and garnering thousands of views and reposts. However, representatives from several Chinese universities have claimed that Facebook has not officially contacted them regarding the recruitment drive.
Xu Chen, an officer from the employment service center of Nanjing University, said the information about the drive came from one of their alumni and was intended to be shared among the school's students.
He said it is too early for the company to contact the school if the company wishes to hire next year's graduates.
"The company may contact us in June or July to prepare and officially start in September when the new semester begins," he added.
Ruan claimed in her message board post that all positions for Chinese candidates will be located in California or Seattle.
Serena Liu, a headhunter for Prestige International Associates, said Facebook originally planned to build a technical team in China last year, but the initiative has been put on hold.
"As Facebook's recruitment contact in China, we would be informed if it starts hiring," she said. "We haven't received any new information about restarting the program, nor about campus recruitment."
Facebook has not made any official statements about the recruitment drive. Attempts to contact Ginny Cheng, the company's university program lead, went unanswered. Aman Sheena, a product manager at Facebook, claimed that he has not heard about a campus recruitment program in China.
The company's popularity in China is fairly high, despite the fact that the site is inaccessible on the Chinese mainland. The possibility of working for the company may be the real draw, as China's social networking companies do not have the same kind of dominant role in China as Facebook does in the West.
Facebook registered two Chinese trademarks in April 2011 and an English trademark in 2007, according to the trademark office of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce.
Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg visited China around the end of 2010 to meet the leaders of top Chinese technology companies.