Twitter's head of China Kathy Chen departs after 7 months

Kathy Chen

Twitter's managing director for China, Kathy Chen, has left the company following a restructure of the business in Asia.

Chen's departure comes after just seven months in charge and follows a string of high-profile Twitter executives to depart from the company. Chief technology officer, Adam Messinger, and chief operating officer, Adam Bain, also left recently.

Since Chen's appointment, Twitter has reorganised its Asia division, with country heads in India and Australia also leaving.

"Now that the Twitter APAC team is working directly with Chinese advertisers, this is the right time for me to leave the company," said Chen in a tweet.

During a series of tweets she also claimed that revenue from Chinese advertising partners had soared 400% in the past two years and that the Hong Kong office, which is rumoured to be closing, would remain open "for now".

"Working at Twitter has opened my mind, my passion is to connect people to the world through cross-cultural communications and businesses," she added.

The Hong Kong-based Chen, who prior to joining Twitter had worked for Cisco and Microsoft, was appointed as managing director for Twitter's China region in April 2016.

She has also worked for the Chinese military, and her apparent links with the Beijing government prompted concern amongst activists who were worried that her appointment meant Twitter had hired someone who was pro-government.

While Twitter is blocked in China, it allows Chinese advertisers to reach a global audience and is also very popular with Chinese dissidents based in the West.

Get The Drum Newsletter

Build your marketing knowledge by choosing from daily news bulletins or a weekly special.