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Netizens Mock Mark Zuckerberg's Love Affair with China

Meme of Zuckerberg jogging in Beijing spread on Facebook. Via OpenStudioHK.

Meme of Zuckerberg jogging in Beijing spread on Facebook. Via OpenStudioHK.

Whether Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's enthusiasm and positive attitude towards China is genuine or just a kowtow to the world's biggest Internet market, a growing number of netizens are losing patience with his uncritical attitude regarding Beijing's human rights abuses.

Increasingly, these netizens are voicing their discontent on Zuckerberg's Facebook page.

On March 18, Zuckerberg uploaded a photo taken in front of Beijing's Forbidden City on his Facebook page and said:

It's great to be back in Beijing! I kicked off my visit with a run through Tiananmen Square, past the Forbidden City and over to the Temple of Heaven.

Immediately, sarcastic comments piled up.

One of the most popular comments came from Joshua Wong, a well-known student activist in Hong Kong, who raised the question:

How do you update your Facebook in China?

Facebook has been blocked in China since 2009 and during the two-week session of the parliament in Beijing from March 5 to 16 this year, major virtual private networks that help provide access to uncensored content beyond China's ‘Great Firewall’, were disrupted.

Moreover, in politically tense regions like Xinjiang, individuals using WhatsApp and VPNs can have their phone service suspended. The freedom Mark Zuckerberg seems to have enjoyed in China is extraordinary.

The Hong Kong political group Civic Passion's leader Wong Yeung-tat raised another question to remind Zuckerberg of the bloody crackdown on the Tiananmen square student democracy movement in 1989:

Did u see the tank?

Cao Yuzhou added more details on that historic incident:

The floor you stepped on has been covered by blood from students who fought for democracy. But, enjoy your running in China, Mark.

As Tiananmen Square has become a very politically sensitive location, abrupt body movements or major group activities without prior government approval are prohibited.

Qingye Jiang reminded Zuckerberg of this:

Mark, you have a total number of 6 people in the running team. Did you apply for the authorization to run on the street? If not, this is illegal in China. Please respect the local law when you are in a foreign country.

Less politically-oriented folk worried about his health as the air quality on Friday reached hazardous levels.

Michael Wester from The Beijinger, a lifestyle blog, mocked Zuckerberg's love for China:

How far would you go to curry favor with China?
How about running through Tiananmen Square without a mask in this morning's thick-as-pea-soup AQI 337 air? […]
If this doesn't get Facebook unbanned in China, nothing will.

Memes of Zuckerberg's run spread rapidly through Facebook circles in Hong Kong, where the social media platform is not blocked.

This one is about the smog:

Image from Open Studio Hong Kong's Facebook.

Image from Open Studio Hong Kong's Facebook.

This is not the first time Zuckerberg has been mocked by Chinese netizens.

When China's Internet Czar Lu Wei visited Facebook's Silicon Valley offices in December 2014, Zuckerberg was photographed with Chinese President Xi Jinping's book ‘The Governance of China’ on his table.

Chinese news websites reported he had bought up copies of the book for his colleagues so that they could understand socialism with Chinese characteristics. Zuckerberg was later depicted in Internet memes as a Red Guard — ideological warriors from China's infamous Cultural Revolution — holding Xi Jinping's book.

And last October, he was mercilessly ridiculed for asking Xi Jinping to name his unborn baby daughter, an offer Xi promptly rejected.

Zuckerberg will attend the China Development Forum this year, where his very public wooing of Xi will no doubt continue to catch the world's attention.

  • bergerking

    By netizens, you mean a small circlejerk of irrelevant hong kong whiners who nobody actually care about what they say, not even their british daddies. They didn’t even make you guys citizens. How funny.

    But first time talking about a white man without getting up in his ass. I guess this is an improvement for hong-kongian.

    • tiddle

      I’m sure you would looove the 24×7 monitoring and the Great Firewall, among the many “perks” courtesy of Beijing. It’s like hiding in your mother’s womb, full protection and more.

      • inkpmbag

        Nope. I don’t. Where did I say I do?

        • tiddle

          What guys (or gals, or somewhere in the middle, who knows) don’t realize is that, those in Hong Kong have always been fighting for the principles. Why do you think those in Hong Kong came out in droves to help fight rights of Chinese citizens even before ’97, or were among the first and most generous in disaster relief efforts for those in China? There is no such thing called gratitude for that, and once Hong Kong was brought back under the China fold, all the mainland Chinese are interested in, is to take the resources from Hong Kong, park their illicit gains in Hong Kong or en route to overseas, and to disparage those who had once stood shoulder-to-shoulder when they were down and out?

          Then again, guys/gals like you don’t have a fraction of an ounce of gratitude or graciousness in you to appreciate you. I feel sorry for those in Hong Kong, to have next door neighbors like you.

          • inkpmbag

            Really? No contribution from mainland to Hong Kong? All that stimulus money. Powering HK tourism industry. Opening up mainland economy for HK investors (privileged policy above foreigners). Opening up mainland movie market for HK films. I think you are the one being forgetful.

            Also, if you are not HK, please do not stir the ethnic tension shit stick between two people. More than enough westerners are doing this already.

          • tiddle

            Yeah yeah, all China has to offer, is money, much as it does to any other country that it wants to step in. Sure, some countries love the money, but you know what, those Hongkongers are now say, thanks but no thanks. China can keep the money, and those lousy tourists, oh and never forget those thousands of migrants into Hong Kong that it’s forced to take in.

            Sorry to break the news to you, but I *am* in Hong Kong, and I’m totally with those young people in Hong Kong, I was on the streets during the umbrella movement too. If Beijing has not been such hardnose, if those mainland Chinese average joes have not been so rude in taking resources from Hong Kong (eg. pretty much looting all the baby formula from shelves), tension would not be this bad.

            Then again, China’s default position has always been to anyone trying to challenge its power has always been “foreign elements stirring the locals,” without the forethought that these Hongkongers are all too capable and grown-up to think for themselves, and no one is even mentioning about the Brits (in case you want to quote it again saying Hong Kong was just the Brits’ “running dogs”). It’s the principles that they fight on, but then, this is something people like you would never understand. Dumpshit.

          • inkpmbag

            Yeah, a white like you would obviously want to be the shit stirrer and blow up more ethnic tension. When the editors and the entire news system and the anglo white worship culture is engineered by the British to rule over HK as a colony, is it any surprise HKers turns ultra racist against their mainland compatriots? Fuck off white douchebag.

          • tiddle

            It’s almost funny how easily people like you PRESUME others to be this and that. To put your idiotic mind at ease, I’m not white, douchebag.

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  • tiddle

    The newfound zeal of China by this Zucker reminds me of Murdoch, another mogul from another era who also was married to a Chinese wife. Z should have a heart-to-heart with Murdoch and see how the latter’s Chinese ventures turned out (which pretty much all went up in smoke).

    It’s laughable to see Z brown-nosing Beijing, when he’s too naive to realize that no more amount of brown-nosing is going to see any loosening of grip on social media (in particular, foreign owned ones) by Beijing. In any case, why would China need FB anyways, when it can have home-grown solutions that are much more readily squeezeable by China any time it fancies.

  • nodomino

    Z’s interest in China goes down as far as a bottom line. This is business. Human Rights Vs Bottom Line? It’s not even a contest which one prevails…everywhere, every time.

    • tiddle

      Funny thing is, that kind of kissing up just won’t do in China, unless Z greases those Beijing guys’ hands (which would of course make him break US law).

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