Facebook gets another $40 million — starting location-based mobile services?

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After Facebook raised the $240 million round from Microsoft last fall that valued it at a shocking-to-many $15 billion valuation, it raised another $60 million from Hong Kong business mogul Li Ka-Shing (pictured).

Today, Marketwatch reports that Ka-Shing is re-upping on his investment with at least another $40 million, presumably at the same valuation.

This could be the start of a major move by Facebook in China. Today, Ka-Shing says that “we could have some synergy between the 3G services of Hutchison and Facebook, so the customers could use Facebook on mobile phones.”3G mobile phone standards allow for large amounts of data to be quickly transferred across phones and networks and have created more opportunities for mobile web services.

Ka-Shing’s company, Hutchison Whampoa Ltd, runs everything from major port facilities to mobile services in China and other countries. Its 3G effort appears to be a location-based service, according to its web site on the matter:

“Our mission is to enhance people’s lives — we are creating a service that, upon demand, shows you where you are, what you want and how you want it — and puts it in the palm of your hand. Over time, we hope that this will become an indispensable part of our daily lives.”

As we noted at the time of Ka-Shing’s first investment, Facebook needs a strong ally in China to help it cut deals with local internet service providers. Ka-Shing says he may even invest more in Palo Alto, Calif.-based Facebook.

So maybe we’re going to see a location-based service that tightly integrates Facebook coming out of China.


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