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Thursday, October 23, 2014, 14:36

Zuckerberg speaks Chinese, Beijing students cheer

By Associated Press
Zuckerberg speaks Chinese, Beijing students cheer

This picture taken on October 22, 2014, released by Tsinghua University , shows the head of US based internet company Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg (left) delivering a speech as he was named to the advisory board of Tsinghua's School of Economics and Management in Beijing. (AFP PHOTO / TSINGHUA UNIVERSITY)

BEIJING - Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg entertained an audience of students in Beijing with a 30-minute chat in his recently-learned Mandarin Chinese.

During Wednesday's question-and-answer session at the prestigious Tsinghua University, Facebook CEO Zuckerberg noted that the social media giant already helps some Chinese companies in foreign markets. He cited computer maker Lenovo's ads on Facebook in India.

"We are already in China. We help Chinese companies gain customers abroad,'' Zuckerberg said in Chinese. "We want to help the rest of the world connect to China.''

Zuckerberg's pronunciation was far from fluent, but he was able to maintain intelligible conversation for a half-hour and the students responded with warm cheers for his effort and laughter at his humor.

Zuckerberg married Chinese-American Priscilla Chan in 2012, and set himself the goal of learning Mandarin in 2010. He said Wednesday that he wanted to learn the language partly because his wife's grandmother only speaks Chinese. He recalled informing the grandmother of the upcoming marriage.

"Priscilla and I decided to get married, so I told her grandmother in Chinese, and she was very surprised,'' Zuckerberg said.

He said China is a great country and hopes that learning the language will help him learn its culture.

"The Chinese language is difficult, and I speak English, but I like challenges,'' Zuckerberg said.

Zuckerberg visited the school this week as a newly-appointed member to the advisory board for Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management and met with Tsinghua President Chen Jining on Tuesday.

 
 
 
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