Facebook CEO Visits Baidu China Office - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Healthcare // Analytics
News
12/20/2010
11:17 AM
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Facebook CEO Visits Baidu China Office

Mark Zuckerberg's meeting with the CEO of China's largest search engine prompts speculation about Facebook's prospects in the country.

Top 20 Apps For Managing Social Media
(click image for larger view)
Top 20 Apps For Managing Social Media
While on vacation in China, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg -- whose website is blocked in this nation of more than 1.3 billion people -- met with Robin Li, CEO of Baidu, the country's most-used Internet search engine.

Baidu declined to disclose what the two executives discussed as Zuckerberg toured Baidu's offices, ate lunch in the company's private dining room, and attended meetings with Li into the afternoon, Kaiser Kuo, a spokesman for Baidu, told Bloomberg. Zuckerberg is on vacation and has a "well-established" interest in China, Kuo said.

"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," said Kuo, according to the Agence France-Presse (AFP). "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."

Censorship and closed-door meetings did not stop speculation erupting around cyberspace.

"Will Facebook enter the 400 million users market with the partnership with Baidu? No evidence to prove that, but it makes some sense, at least Baidu is clearly the giant in China but it does not really have its own social network in the local market," said Gang Lu, co-founder of the OpenWeb.Asia Workgroup, in a Mobinode blog.

Baidu's Kuo turned to Twitter in an attempt to stop some rumors before they began.

"Rumors that Baidu is about to acquire Facebook are greatly exaggerated," he tweeted. "C'mon people. Robin and Mark have known each other for a while. Mark's interest in China is well known. Keep the speculation in check."

In October, Zuckerberg mentioned this interest in China, based in part on the nation's emerging opportunity and huge population. In preparation for this trip with long-time Chinese American girlfriend Priscilla Chan, Zuckerberg learned Mandarin, he told a Stanford University audience, according to AFP.

"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?"

While Facebook has become a daily part of many Americans' lives, it is relatively unknown to many on the Chinese mainland due to government censorship. Those online posters aware of Zuckerberg and his company have prepared for his visit using humor, according to the Los Angeles Times.

"We warmly welcome the founder of '404 NOT Found' and 'Mr. The Search Result Cannot be Displayed' to visit China!" one post said, referring to the error messages Internet users often see when they visit banned sites in China.

SEE ALSO:

Google Cuts Ties With China Ad Agents

Facebook Ranked Best Place To Work

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

News
Becoming a Self-Taught Cybersecurity Pro
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  6/9/2021
News
Ancestry's DevOps Strategy to Control Its CI/CD Pipeline
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  6/4/2021
Slideshows
IT Leadership: 10 Ways to Unleash Enterprise Innovation
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  6/8/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Planning Your Digital Transformation Roadmap
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
Slideshows
Flash Poll