Facebook’s Asia Troubles: In Japan, Less Than 15 Percent Penetration; in China, ‘Near Zero’

Mark Zuckerberg’s effort to learn Mandarin hasn’t made a difference—the site is still blocked in China, where local knockoff RenRen dominates, and Facebook has “near zero penetration” there, the company said in its preliminary S-1 filing today.

“We continue to evaluate entering China,” Facebook says in its IPO. “However, this market has substantial legal and regulatory complexities that have prevented our entry into China to date.”

And in Japan and South Korea, Facebook estimates it has penetration rates of less than 15 percent. Facebook is blocked in North Korea; in Russia (technically Asia!) penetration rates are also less than 15 percent. The bright spot is India, which Facebook has identified as a growth area even though Google’s Orkut is popular and Facebook’s penetration is between 20 and 30 percent.

“If we fail to deploy or manage our operations in international markets successfully, our business may suffer,” Facebook says in the filing.