Zucker­berg wows Beijing au­di­ence with Man­darin talk

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - BUSINESS NEWS -

In be­tween run­ning the world’s largest so­cial net­work­ing site and a plethora of other phil­an­thropic en­ti­ties, Mark Zucker­berg has ap­par­ently learned to speak Man­darin Chi­nese.

The tech bil­lion­aire wowed a Beijing au­di­ence by con­duct­ing a 30-minute ques­tion and an­swer ses­sion in Man­darin.

Zucker­berg (30) be­gan his ad­dress by telling stu­dents and fac­ulty mem­bers that his Chi­nese was “re­ally a mess” and that “per­haps I need prac­tice”.

He then went on to dis­cuss in­no­va­tion in China, Face­book’s fu­ture in the coun­try and why he was study­ing Chi­nese. He even cracked a joke about his lis­ten­ing com­pre­hen­sion be­ing par­tic­u­larly bad.

While his com­mand of the lan­guage was far from per­fect, it was met with cheers and ap­plause.

Zucker­berg later posted the in­ter­view on his Face­book page. “I did my first ever pub­lic Q&A in Chi­nese at Ts­inghua Univer­sity in Beijing,” he wrote.

“We dis­cussed con­nect­ing the world, In­ter­net. org, in­no­va­tion and the early days of Face­book. Ts­inghua is an amaz­ing cen­tre of learn­ing and re­search and it has been in­spir­ing to be with so many tal­ented fu­ture Chi­nese lead­ers.”

The Face­book chief re­vealed he was study­ing the lan­guage in an in­ter­view with Oprah Win­frey in 2010.

His wife Priscilla Chan is the daugh­ter of Chi­nese-Viet­namese im­mi­grants.

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