Mark Zuckerberg may have answered an entire 30-minute Q&A session in Mandarin, but that doesn’t mean his visit was without criticism.
Mark Zuckerberg has taken up another language, and apparently, he’s taken it up well-enough that he has the ability to speak to an entire group of people in their home country in that language, during an Q&A session that has a lot riding on it. For the Facebook founder, this could have been the ultimate gamble. The crowd he was speaking to, a group of students in Beijing at Tsinghua, was impressed – and even laughed at some of his jokes.
Not everyone was as happy, and accepting of his speaking Mandarin, though. In fact, some referred to it at Zuckerberg, “stepping on his face,” which is definitely amongst the unique critiques he received. Tsinghua is an incredibly old university that is particularly known for being the Chinese version of MIT – that means he was speaking to a very strong-minded group of people. It makes even more impressive his ability to ‘Wow’ them.
However, the move was clearly motivated by a few different factors. Most obviously, his wife is Chinese, and perhaps it had a functional purpose, speaking Chinese in his personal life. That argument can be made, and it’s one that will be made less-regularly than the next argument. On the other hand though, many will criticize him for making this move in an effort to build a presence in China.
Facebook was banned in China in 2009, and social networks including Facebook desperately want a presence there due to the market size that is at stake. Aforementioned is not like some smaller nations that have placed restrictions on the social networking giant. We are talking about a full-blown ban.
His mission though, as clear as it is has gotten a lot of positive attention though. Even with the criticism it has received. As many students put it, the “cool” factor associated with it, is something that many will have a hard time denying. Especially in a country that while his social networking platform may be frowned upon by many, his qualities as a leader of a massive company are not frowned upon.
Mark Zuckerberg may not have the best relationship with all of the Chinese; he definitely went a long way to repairing an image that was previously tarnished inside the country’s borders.