Despite being banned in China since 2009 due to government concerns it could be used to organise protests, Twitter plans to open an office in Hong Kong next year to tap into advertising revenues from expanding Chinese companies.

Shailesh Rao, Twitter’s vice president for Asia Pacific, the Americas and emerging markets, told The Wall Street Journal in an interview that the main focus of the office will be building sales capability to work with agencies and advertisers domestically in Hong Kong and Taiwan, alongside Chinese advertisers looking to go global.

Mr. Rao said Chinese smartphone makers Huawei Technologies Co. and Xiaomi Inc., as well as computer and phone maker Lenovo Group Ltd, are “poised for global expansion” along with Alibaba. He also highlighted Taiwanese personal-computer makers Acer Inc and Asustek Computer Inc, known to many consumers as Asus.

The company has an office in Singapore, which opened last year, and elsewhere in the Asian-Pacific region maintains offices in Seoul, Tokyo and Sydney. The Hong Kong office will be headed by Peter Greenberger, Twitter’s Singapore-based director of sales for emerging markets.

The social networking service joins Google and Facebook who have set up offices in Hong Kong and like Twitter, both offer services that are blocked in China.