Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg visits China

21/12/10

Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has begun a visit to China, sparking rumours that the site might increase its presence in the country.

Speculation started when a photo of Zuckerberg at the offices of China's largest search engine, Baidu, appeared online,

A Baidu spokesman confirmed Zuckerberg had lunch with CEO Robin Li, but later added that the pair had known each other for a long time.

Posting on his Twitter page Baidu's Kaiser Kuo said: "C'mon people. Robin and Mark have known each other for a while. Mark's interest in China is well known. Keep the speculation in check."

At the moment the Chinese government's so called Great Firewall stops people using Facebook as well as other websites like Twitter and Youtube.

No entourage

But 26-year-old Zuckerberg, who studied Mandarin, has already hinted he would like Facebook to have a real presence amongst China's 500 million regular internet users.

"How can you connect with the whole world if you leave 1.6 billion people out?" he asked in October.

Having been denied access to China, Mr Zuckerberg is not as well known there as he is in the rest of the world.

But Mr Kuo says he has had some exposure after recently being named Time Magazine's 2010 Person of the Year.

It is thought Mr Zuckerberg is in China mainly for a holiday with his long term Chinese-American girlfriend, Priscilla Chan.

No other details of the visit have been revealed except that the pair visited the Tibetan Lama Temple in Beijing.

Facebook registered a .cn domain name back in 2007.

It even introduced a Chinese language version of the site in 2008.

However, it still can't be accessed by people living on the Chinese mainland.

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