The top internet regulator in China, Lu Wei may not be as welcoming of Facebook in his home,
but the social network has definitely welcomed him warmly on its campus. According to the
reports and pictures that were posted on a government website in China on Monday, Mr. Lu,
who is the minister of Cyberspace Administration in China, recently went on a tour of the
campuses of Apple Inc., Facebook Inc. and Amazon Inc. Regardless of the status of Facebook
China, which has been blocked in the country since 2009, there were friendly exchanges
between founder of Facebook Inc. Mark Zuckerberg and Lu.
The report said that they greeted each other with broad smiles and spoke in Mandarin.
However, the report did not provide details about the timing and purpose of the visit. A copy of
the book written by Xi Jinping, Chinese president, was noticed by Mr. Lee on Mr. Zuckerberg’s
desk. The founder said that he had purchased the book for his coworkers in order to help them
in learning socialism in light of Chinese characteristics. The pictures on the government also
showed that Lu met Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO and Tim Cook, Apple’s Chief Executive on this
Mark Zuckerberg has a longstanding vision; he wishes to connect the entire population of the
world. However, China remains the biggest obstacles in the achievement of this vision and the
founder of the biggest social network in the world hasn’t made any secret of his desire to enter
the Chinese market that contains roughly 600 million internet users. It was in 2013 that Lu took
up his current government role after giving up his position of a propaganda chief in Beijing. He
has constantly defended the internet censorship in China, claiming that this is their way of
protecting the domestic stability of the country.
In October, Mr. Lu told reporters that their country is very hospitable, but they want to choose
who comes into their home. He said that they couldn’t allow companies to come into the country
for making money while they inflicted harm on it. He further asserted that he didn’t mean that
Facebook couldn’t come into China, but he also didn’t agree to it. Mr. Lu is prone to making
conflicting and colorful statements from time to time. Last month, he hosted the World Internet
Conference, which is designed to showcase the growing influence of the Chinese tech industry.
This event also lays out the vision of the policymakers; staying open, but only on the terms
outlined by the government. During the opening ceremony, Mr. Lu said that cyberspace should
be open and free, but should follow the rules and law. A small group of students had been
detained outside the conference as they had been carrying out a demonstration. The students
wished to seek access to Facebook in the country, according to the information provided by the
attendees. Nonetheless, China still doesn’t seem to be budging on its plans of unblocking
Facebook in the country.