Mark Zuckerberg Woos China’s Propaganda Tsar Liu Yunshan
China is one of the few markets where Facebook cannot be accessed.
Facebook’s co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg met China’s propaganda tsar Liu Yunshan in Beijing on Saturday as part of a charm offensive in one of the few markets where the social network cannot be accessed.
The rare meeting, suggests warming relations between Facebook and the Chinese government, even as Beijing steps up censorship of and control over the Internet.
Liu, who sits on the Communist Party’s Politburo Standing Committee which is the apex of power in China, praised Facebook’s technology and management methods.
Zuckerberg was in Beijing for the China Development Forum–a government-sponsored conference bringing together top business executives and the country’s ruling elite.
Xinhua Liu was quoted as saying:
(China) hopes (Facebook) can strengthen exchanges, share experiences and improve mutual understanding with China’s Internet companies.
Earlier this year, Beijing introduced new rules on online publication, which analysts say may place further curbs on foreign internet businesses trying to operate in China.
Online content publishers should “promote core socialist values” and spread ideas, morals and knowledge that improve the quality of the nation and promote economic development.
Foreign companies in China, especially in media, face political pressure from a range of regulations. The country’s military newspaper calls the Internet the most important front in an ideological battle against “Western anti-China forces”.
China, the world’s second largest economy, has the biggest Internet population, numbering almost 700 million people.
He has long sought to improve his company’s relationship with the Chinese authorities, and now sits on the advisory board of the School of Economics and Management at China’s elite Tsinghua University.
The 31-year-old has achieved celebrity status in China, one of the few markets where Facebook and other foreign Internet platforms, including Alphabet’s Google services and Twitter, are not available due to tight government controls.
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