Facebook CEO meets with Sina during China holiday

Dec 22, 2010
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (pictured) -- on holiday in China where his social networking site is officially blocked -- met Wednesday with top executives from the country's popular web portal Sina.com.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg -- on holiday in China where his social networking site is officially blocked -- met Wednesday with top executives from the country's popular web portal Sina.com.

Zuckerberg's meeting with Sina.com chief executive Charles Chao and vice president Peng Shaobin comes two days after the 26-year-old had lunch with the head of giant Baidu to discuss the world's biggest web market.

"Mr Zuckerberg came to get a better understanding of Sina and China’s Weibo market," Sina said in a statement sent to AFP.

"It’s more of a casual than a formal visit."

Sina's Weibo is a Twitter-like microblogging service. Foreign social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter are blocked by China's government but many users on the mainland access them via virtual proxy networks.

Beijing has set up a huge online censorship system sometimes dubbed the "Great Firewall of China" that aggressively blocks sites or snuffs out Internet content on topics considered sensitive.

Zuckerberg, clearly keen to see his company crack the Chinese market of at least 420 million Internet users, told an audience at Stanford University recently that he was "spending a lot of time" studying Chinese.

"It's kind of a personal challenge this year, I'm taking an hour a day and I'm learning Chinese. I'm trying to understand the language, the culture, the mindset -- it's just such an important part of the world," he said.

"How can you connect the whole world if you leave out a billion-six people?"

Zuckerberg, who is on holiday with his Chinese-American girlfriend, met with Baidu's chief executive Robin Li on Monday, a spokesman for the Chinese company, Kaiser Kuo, told AFP.

"It makes sense -- he is interested in the Chinese Internet, he's made that very plain. Obviously this is one of the big dark spots for Facebook because it is blocked here in China," Kuo said.

"He has had a long-standing interest in China. I'm sure he wants to get the advice of someone who knows the Internet landscape well here."

told AFP ahead of the trip that the 26-year-old -- recently named Time's "Person of the Year" -- was "not doing any press or any meetings" during his vacation in .

Explore further: Uber: As drivers get perks, riders losing patience on privacy snafus

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Facebook's CEO visits China's top search engine

Dec 20, 2010

(AP) -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg toured the offices of China's top search engine Monday during a visit that has sparked speculation the social networking magnate is looking for business opportunities in the world's largest ...

Dalai Lama to tweet with Chinese web users

May 21, 2010

The Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, will hold his first online chat with Chinese web users via Twitter on Friday, despite efforts by Beijing to silence him on the mainland.

Google's China answer page inaccessible

Aug 03, 2010

(AP) -- A Google question-and-answer page for Chinese users was inaccessible from mainland China on Tuesday less than a month after the search giant's Internet license was renewed amid a dispute over online censorship.

China grants web mapping licences to 31 firms

Sep 09, 2010

China has granted licences to 31 companies to provide web mapping services in the world's biggest online market, an official said Thursday, but many foreign firms including Google have yet to apply.

Recommended for you

BlackBerry courts iPhone users with cash

15 hours ago

Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry is wooing Apple customers with a cash offer for trade-ins of iPhones for its new square-screened, keyboard-equipped Passport.

HP earnings show continued struggle

16 hours ago

Venerable tech giant Hewlett-Packard has been struggling for three years to turn its business around. Its latest earnings show it still has more work ahead.

Apple market value hits $700 bn

22 hours ago

A rise in Apple shares Tuesday pushed the market value of the trend-setting US tech icon above $700 billion, becoming the first company to hit that milestone.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.