According to the Guardian, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been in meetings with Baidu head Robin Li. While a spokesman for Baidu said that “It was just two nerds comparing notes,” and to “keep the speculation in check,” there’s no denying that the Chinese population is a worthy target for the biggest social network in the world.
On a recent global map of Facebook users, China appeared as a black spot, though it has a bigger internet population than any country on Earth.
In a recent speech at Stanford University, he said the company may turn its attention to China in a year if it can first crack Japan, South Korea and Russia. “How can you connect the whole world if you leave out a billion people?” he asked then.
If Baidu, was to lobby for a lift on the censorship of Facebook that was placed in 2008 by the Chinese government, Zuckerberg may actually have a chance at breaking into the largest Internet-connected population in the world.
Currently, there’re numerous sites on Facebook that would not be permitted in China, including clubs and groups that campaign on behalf of the victims of Tiananmen, the imprisoned Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo and Falun Gong.
The Dalai Lama, who’s reviled by the Chinese authorities, has an official Facebook page that’s “liked” by more than a million people. This would be impossible if the company was to move its servers inside China.