Facebook has made international expansion central to its growth efforts—heck, Mark Zuckerberg has even been taking Mandarin lessons, a diplomatic gesture indicating his commitment to China, where Facebook remains barred.
Snap Inc., Snapchat’s parent, appears to harbor no such bold ambitions. In the prospectus for its initial public offering, publicly filed today, the company appears to go out of its way to highlight the challenges it would face in growing overseas.
“Our products often require intensive processing and generate high bandwidth consumption by our users,” the S-1 states. “As a result, our users tend to come from developed countries with high-end mobile devices and high-speed cellular internet.”
Clearly, no Snap “Free Basics” is in the works in Venice, California.
High-speed connectivity is not Snap’s only obstacle in foreign markets. The company also points to China in its filing, noting that “access to Google, which currently powers our infrastructure, is restricted in China, and we do not know if we will be able to enter the market in a manner acceptable to the Chinese government.”