Twitter, Inc.'s China Chief Departs, Shares Key Stats on Business Growth

As Twitter's planned workforce reduction continues, this executive's departure offers some insight into Twitter's international operation.

Daniel Sparks
Daniel Sparks
Jan 3, 2017 at 3:31PM
Technology and Telecom

Image source: Twitter.

In October, Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) warned investors it would be reducing its workforce as part of a restructuring focused on "reorganizing our sales, partnerships, and marketing efforts..." As the company follows through with this plan, Twitter has lost a number of executives -- and the company's China chief, Kathy Chen, is one of the latest to depart amid the restructuring.

"Now that the Twitter APAC [Asia Pacific] team is working directly with Chinese advertisers, this is the right time for me to leave the company," Chen tweeted on Dec. 31.

On her way out, Chen shared a promising update on Twitter's business in Greater China, saying the company's advertiser base in the region has soared "nearly 400%" during the past two years. Furthermore, she said, "Great China is one of our fastest growing revenue markets in Asia Pacific for Twitter today and we remain committed to this market."

Does it matter?

As The Wall Street Journal's Eva Dou points out, the hiring of Kathy Chen was controversial in the first place, "due to her previous employment links to China's military." So, it's not necessarily surprising to see her leave amid a restructuring, and after she helped establish Twitter's APAC business unit.

The bigger takeaway here is likely Chen's update on Twitter's growing relationships with APAC advertisers. While Twitter is banned in China, the country's businesses can still advertise outside of their own country. Given the sheer size of China, it's important that Twitter continues to cultivate a relationship with the market.