Date
19 August 2017
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg speaks in Putonghua at Tsinghua University, saying he wants to challenge himself by learning Chinese language and culture. Photo: AFP/Tsinghua University
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg speaks in Putonghua at Tsinghua University, saying he wants to challenge himself by learning Chinese language and culture. Photo: AFP/Tsinghua University

Zuckerberg speaks Putonghua, wows Tsinghua audience

For Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, there is no country that the social networking website operator cannot enter eventually, even China.

Although the website is still banned by the Chinese government, Facebook has in fact been enhancing its development in the country.

The US firm plans to hire more Chinese students to work locally, Ming Pao Daily reported Friday.

Zuckerberg said in a speech at Tsinghua University in Beijing on Wednesday that Facebook has already set foot in China by helping connect Chinese companies with foreign customers, just as Lenovo is using Facebook to sell mobile phone ads in Indonesia.

Both the city governments of Hangzhou and Qingdao have created their Facebook pages, he said.

But what impressed the Tsinghua audience is that Zuckerberg spoke and answered questions in Putonghua throughout the session. Foreign news agencies gave him mixed ratings on his Chinese.

Zuckerberg said he speaks Putonghua at home as his wife is Chinese and he wants to challenge himself by learning Chinese language and culture.

He did not say when the Facebook website will be launched for Chinese netizens.

As for hiring, he said the company employed 20 Chinese students last month and plans to hire more in China next year.

Zuckerberg has just been appointed by the university’s School of Economics and Management as a member of its consulting committee.

He said Facebook will move toward three fields over the next 10 years, including helping as many as possible gain access to the Internet, working on artificial intelligence and developing virtual reality products.

Meanwhile, he praised the many innovative companies in China such as Tencent, which created the instant messaging service WeChat, online shopping mall Taobao and mobile phone maker Xiaomi.

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TL/AC/JL

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