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Zuckerberg Sucks Up with Xi Jinping’s Book, But Prospects for Facebook Unclear

Posted: 12/10/2014 10:43 am

Never underestimate the things Facebook will do to tap the China market after it was blocked in 2009. Speaking Chinese in October at a Q&A session at Tsinghua University couldn’t get the site unblocked, so Mark Zuckerberg has upped the ante: he displayed Xi Jinping’s tome “Governance of China” during a visit by China’s top Internet regulator Lu Wei to Silicon Valley.

When photographs of Lu visiting Facebook’s offices appeared on Chinese state media, netizens noticed Xi’s book happened to be on Zuckerberg’s desk. The technology mogul said that he bought several copies of the book and gave them to his colleagues, asking them to learn “socialism with Chinese characteristics”, the Washington Post reported.

But whether Zuckerberg’s efforts will be reciprocated is another question. Back in October, when Lu was asked by foreign reporters about why Facebook and other social media sites are blocked in China, he gave a rather stern response. “I never used these websites. I don’t know if they are blocked. It might be true that some websites are not accessible in China. But I want to stress that our management is based on Chinese laws, and all of our actions taken hence are consistent with China’s state security and the interest of Chinese consumers,” he said.

Xi Jinping’s book Governance of China was found lying on Mark Zuckerberg’s desk.

Lu continued: “For those we do not allow in China, they took a big share of the China market, and earned our money, but are doing harm to us. This kind of situation is something we can’t tolerate. As long as you obey Chinese laws, we welcome all the Internet companies from the world to enter China. Our market is indeed quite big.”

Lu never gave a firm answer on whether Facebook may eventually be unblocked. Until then, expect Zuckerberg to continue his charm offensive.

Photos: That’s; Elleman; weibo


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