Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg Courts China With Speech in Mandarin

by Keith Wagstaff /  / Updated 
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg answers questions at an event on Nov. 6, 2014.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg answers questions at an event on Nov. 6, 2014.Facebook / Ustream

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Mark Zuckerberg showed off his Mandarin over the weekend during a speech at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

"Today I want to talk about changing the world," he said at the beginning of his talk, which lasted for more than 20 minutes.

This isn't the first time Zuckerberg has spoken Mandarin in public. Back in 2014, he uttered a few phrases at the same university, and the following year he wished Facebook a happy Chinese New Year in the language, which he has been learning since 2010.

So far, Zuckerberg's recent speech has garnered more than 2.7 million views on his Facebook page.

"I just gave my first ever speech in Chinese at Tsinghua University in Beijing," he wrote, noting it was his "first real speech in any language" on how he "started thinking about Facebook's mission" and what has kept him going during "challenging times."

While Zuckerberg has been on the board of Tsinghua's School of Economics and Management since last year, Facebook is still blocked in China.

Right now, the company has an office in Beijing aimed at getting Chinese companies to advertise to the rest of the world. The real prize for Zuckerberg, however, would be adding some of China's more than 649 million Internet users to Facebook's own 1.49 billion monthly active users.

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