Snap Inc, Snapchat’s parent company, has opened a research and development (R&D) office in China, according to CNN.
The office, which is in Shenzhen, South East China, will reportedly be used to further develop Snapchat’s Spectacles device. It is already home to around 20 employees, according to CNN.
Spectacles are Snapchat’s camera-equipped sunglasses that can be used to record content for Snapchat. The devices — Snapchat’s first hardware product and currently only on sale in the US — connect to people’s smartphones using Wi-Fi and bluetooth. They are already assembled in China but the office represents an interesting move for Snapchat, given that its platform is banned in the country.
People in China first realised that Snapchat has opened in Shenzhen after they saw job postings published on WeChat, which is a Chinese app that offers a variety of services, including instant messaging and payments.
The recruitment ad reportedly states that Snapchat is looking for experienced engineers to “join its first core China team,” adding that they would ideally have previous experience working for Chinese tech giants like Alibaba, Tencent, or Baidu.
Successful candidates will reportedly be offered Snap stock, which is likely to be a highly desirable asset given Snap filed for a stock market listing last month that’s expected to value it at around $25 billion (£20 billion).
Snapchat has around 1,500 employees globally, with the vast majority of those based in and around its headquarters in Los Angeles.
China has traditionally been a tough market for US companies to crack, with Google, Facebook, and Twitter all blocked in the country by the Chinese government.
Snapchat did not immediately reply to Business Insider’s request for comment.