Snap Inc looks to land in China: Report

Camera company Snap Inc, which owns popular mobile app Snapchat, is reportedly setting up an R&D team in China, despite the app remaining inaccessible in the country due to government bans.

Snap Inc is now hiring Android and iOS engineers to establish a research and development team in Shenzhen, China, who will be responsible for the app's core camera terminal development, according to a NetEase report on Monday.

Founded in 2011, the US firm is targeting candidates with at least three years of relevant development experience, preferably experienced engineers from Tencent, Baidu, and Alibaba, said the report.

Aside from regular pay rises and share incentives, some of the employees from China will also be relocated to the company's US headquarters, the report added.

Shenzhen is home to a majority of leading Chinese technology giants including Tencent, Baidu, and Huawei, which may explain why Snap Inc has decided to establish its presence in the Chinese city.

However, like many of foreign social apps such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, Snapchat has never made steps into the Chinese market due to government bans in the country. People in China will need VPNs to access the application.

Just as Facebook and Twitter's key features are common to Chinese consumers in homologous Chinese apps including Weibo and WeChat, Snapchat's key trait "read after the burning" is a feature of several Chinese apps, including Alibaba's messaging app Diandianchong, which has taken it as a selling point.

Despite its "illegal identity" in China, Chinese technology firms have shown great interest in Snapchat. Reports have said Alibaba and Tencent both invested in Snap Inc back in 2015 and 2013, respectively.