Mark Zuckerberg has now met with Baidu, China Mobile, Sina, and Alibaba as he explores China’s unique internet landscape. He has a strong natural curiosity towards China and is coming in with a beginner’s mindset: “I’m trying to understand the language, the culture, the mindset – it’s just such an important part of the world. How can you connect the whole world if you leave out a billion-six people?”

Prior to his visit to China, Zuckerberg used Facebook Questions to survey China’s social networking landscape, of which he has at least a basic understanding. Of his 14 uses of Facebook Questions, 3 pertain to China:

1) Are there any key differences in the way people use social networking sites in China vs the US?
(5 total answers – asked August 3 by Josh Krivoshein)

On August 3 Mark Zuckerberg responded:

From what I can tell, the use case is pretty similar in the US and China — as well as in most other countries around the world. Basically, everyone has friends and family and wants to stay connected with those people and that’s why they use social networks.

On some of the earlier Chinese social networks, I think the use of real names may have been less prevalent. On Tencent’s social network I still think most people don’t use their real names, but on sites like the norm is that you use your real name.

Zuckerberg’s answer reflects his belief in a universal desire to move real-life relationships online. Facebook has made only minimal localizations as it globalizes, choosing instead to develop one global platform with considerable success. Despite Facebook’s relatively slow translation and a host of local competitors, Facebook has conquered all major markets except Russia, South Korea, Japan, and China.

2) What is the most popular social networking website in China?
8 total answers - Asked July 26 by Jeff WU

On August 3 Mark Zuckerberg responded:

It depends on what you count as a social network. Tencent’s Qzone is probably the biggest communications and social networking site, but Kaixin and Renren are the biggest sites that resemble Facebook and the social networks we have here in the US.

3) And the one question he himself initiated: “What are the best Mandarin-speaking cities to visit in China?” I hope Zuckerberg has visited all the best “Mandarin-speaking” cities and learned more about this country. Just don’t hold your breath for “Facebook China” anytime soon.

Tagged with: