Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg did a Q&A session in Mandarin Chinese, a very difficult language that he learned back in 2010 in his spare time. After the event, Zuckerberg posted on Facebook that he did his first ever public Q&A in Chinese Mandarin at Tsinghua University in Beijing.
Audiences applauded Zuckerberg
Throughout the conversation, Zuckerberg spoke just one word in English and that was to say “sorry” when he misspoke. The moment Zuckerberg gave the first reply to the question the auditorium was filled with loud applause, laughter and couple of gasps. The CEO of the largest social networking company made convincing inflections, cracked jokes and was relaxed throughout the conversation.
Zuckerberg talked on a range of topics like his philosophy in founding a company and his views of Chinese innovation, along with answering various personal questions such as his favorite color, favorite Chinese dish and the Chinese-American family of his wife, Priscilla Chan.
The Facebook CEO said, “We discussed connecting the world, Internet.org, innovation and the early days of Facebook.”
Why the Facebook CEO learned Mandarin?
When asked that why he learned Chinese, Zuckerberg gave three reasons and the first one was that his wife is Chinese. Zuckerberg married Priscilla Chan in 2012, who is a doctor and was born in Massachusetts, but her mother and the family only spoke Chinese at home. Zuckerberg said that he wanted to ask Chan’s mother in Chinese to allow him to get married to Priscilla, and said that she liked it. He started studying the language more seriously in 2010. The second reason was his like of Chinese culture. The third reason he gave for learning Chinese was that he liked challenges.
According to his Facebook page, Zuckerberg joined the Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management Advisory Board in Monday. Tsinghua is a well-known research university in Beijing, and has been referred to as the MIT of China. Zuckerberg’s interview in Mandarin is gathering a lot of attention in the Chinese media. Although Zuckerberg’s Mandarin was not perfect, it was clearly intelligible and the audience enjoyed it.
Facebook was banned in China from 2009, but a country with the largest customer base is enticing for every internet company and Zuckerberg is determined to bring the service back to China.