No Russian research center planned for Facebook

Lost in translation? Facebook says it is not setting up shop in Moscow just yet, despite news reports based on a Russian official's tweet.

Donna Tam Staff Writer / News
Donna Tam covers Amazon and other fun stuff for CNET News. She is a San Francisco native who enjoys feasting, merrymaking, checking her Gmail and reading her Kindle.
Donna Tam
2 min read
Mark Zuckerberg in Russia. Facebook

Facebook has denied reports that Facebook plans to establish a research center in Moscow instead of luring Russian programmers to the U.S.

A company spokesperson told CNET that while the company is interested in Russia, it had no plans to expand operations into Russia at this time.

The news, reported by the Associated Press, was based on a tweet that may have been lost in translation. The tweet came from Russian communications minister Nikolay Nikiforov, who was commenting on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's visit to Russian today.

"U @ MedvedevRussia agreed with Zuckerberg, it is more profitable to open a research and development center in Russia Facebook," Nikiforov wrote (translated) in the tweet, linking to a photo of him shaking hands with Zuckerberg.

Screenshot by Donna Tam/CNET

Another tweet shows Nikiforov responding to a retweet that suggested the same notion as the AP's news.

"Wrong quote, do not distort the facts," he wrote.

Screenshot by Donna Tam/CNET

Of course, that doesn't mean Facebook isn't interested in investing more in its presence in the country.

"Russia has a strong developer community that has been making great use of the Facebook platform," according to a statement from Facebook. "A number of gaming companies in particular are building their businesses in Russia thanks to the global audience they reach through Facebook."

Facebook said Zuckerberg is spending several days in Moscow, where he will "attend a number of private functions as well as public engagements," including a talk for students at Moscow State University and a visit to the Facebook Moscow Hack -- a part of the World Hack 2012 tour.