this Oct. 22, 2014 photo released by Tsinghua University,
Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg speaks during a dialogue
with students as a newly-appointed member to the advisory
board for Tsinghua University School of Economics and
Management in Beijing, China. China may ban Facebook, but
not its co-founder Zuckerberg, and he entertained an
audience of students with a 30-minute chat in his recently
learned Mandarin Chinese at the prestigious Beijing
BEIJING — China
may ban Facebook, but not its co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg,
who delighted an audience of students in Beijing with a 30-minute
chat in his recently learned Mandarin Chinese.
There was no
explicit discussion of China's ban on the social media site, which
has been in place since 2009, though an indirect reference to it
drew laughter during the question-and-answer session Wednesday at
the prestigious Tsinghua University. Both Zuckerberg and the
university posted video clips of the Q&A online.
company has long sought to enter the Chinese market, noted that
the social media giant already helps some Chinese companies in
foreign markets, citing computer maker Lenovo's ads on Facebook in
China, I have a more difficult question for Mark, which I hope
will not get me fired. What are Facebook's plans in China?"
asked the forum facilitator and Facebook employee Wei Xiaoliang,
to laughter and applause from the audience.
already in China," Zuckerberg said in Chinese, to more
laughter. "We help Chinese companies gain customers
"We want to
help the rest of the world connect to China."
Internet use for business and education but bans material deemed
subversive or obscene and blocks access to foreign websites run by
human rights and Tibet activists and some overseas news and social
On China's social
media, many microbloggers noted the irony that Zuckerberg's famous
creation is blocked in China.
Wang, in an interview in downtown Beijing, said he would be happy
if Facebook was allowed across the so-called Great Firewall of
we have to use software to jump the Wall if we want to access
Facebook," he said.
visited Beijing this week as a newly-appointed member to the
advisory board for Tsinghua University School of Economics and
Management. He met Tuesday with Tsinghua President Chen Jining to
discuss cooperation in education, according to a statement by
Chinese pronunciation was far from fluent and some native speakers
said it was a "challenge" to understand him. But he was
able to maintain intelligible conversation for a half-hour and the
students responded with warm cheers for his effort and laughter at
married Chinese-American Priscilla Chan in 2012, and set himself
the goal of learning Mandarin in 2010. He said Wednesday that he
wanted to learn the language partly because his wife's grandmother
only speaks Chinese. He recalled informing the grandmother of the
and I decided to get married, so I told her grandmother in
Chinese, and she was very surprised," Zuckerberg said.
He said China is
a great country and hopes that learning the language will help him
learn its culture. "The Chinese language is difficult, and I
speak English, but I like challenges," Zuckerberg said.
Li Qin, a
computer programmer from the eastern city of Hangzhou, said in an
online chat that she could barely understand Zuckerberg's Chinese.
"It was a
challenge for Chinese listening comprehension. But even though
Facebook cannot enter the Chinese market, Mark is still making a
fighting effort to learn," she said. "It was quite a