Date
28 May 2018
Following the departure of a key executive, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, pictured here during a trip to China in October 2017, appears to have suffered a setback in his efforts to woo Chinese officials. Photo: Facebook
Following the departure of a key executive, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, pictured here during a trip to China in October 2017, appears to have suffered a setback in his efforts to woo Chinese officials. Photo: Facebook

Facebook’s China whisperer leaves the company

Facebook’s lead liaison with Beijing, Wang-Li Moser, has left the company, complicating the social network’s effort to get a foothold in China’s huge internet market, according to reports.

Moser, whose duties included setting up and presiding over negotiations with China’s top officials, resigned in December, the New York Times reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Moser’s duties will now be taken up by William Shuai, a former government official.

According to the NYT, Moser was brought in from Intel to professionalize Facebook’s efforts to court the Chinese government. Her duties ranged from building face-to-face relations with Chinese government leaders to managing broader trade and security frictions between China and the US.

“During her roughly three-year tenure, Ms Moser worked behind the scenes as Facebook waged a charm campaign to get back into the country,” the paper wrote.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Moser wanted to return to the United States “for personal reasons”.

The executive had previously worked for Intel in China for more than a decade. She is believed to have played a key role in helping the US chip giant build a US$2.5 billion factory.

As for Shuai, who is taking over Moser’s duties at Facebook, he is said to have joined Chinese search engine Baidu as a government relations executive after leaving the Chinese government.

He worked for LinkedIn since 2014, contributing to the rare success of an American social network to gain access in the China market, NYT noted.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Jan 23

Translation by Ben Ng

[Chinese version 中文版]

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BN/RC

Hong Kong Economic Journal

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