Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed Thursday that he studied Chinese in order to please his girlfriend's grandmother who could only speak Chinese.
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed Thursday that he studied Chinese in order to please his girlfriend's grandmother who could only speak Chinese. [Photo: Sina.com.cn]
Zuckerberg was speaking to visiting entrepreneurs from the China Entrepreneur Club (CEC) at his company's headquarters in Palo Alto, California.
Zuckerberg said that he spent an hour studying Chinese every Wednesday and Friday and tried to learn more about the country by talking with staff from the Chinese mainland. He commented that he can speak Chinese slowly, but smoothly and that his tones are accurate.
Several hundred of Facebook's 3,000 staff can speak fluent Mandarin, according to the company's introduction.
Zuckerberg and his girlfriend Priscilla Chan has been together for almost seven years since they met as students at Harvard University in 2004. They are now one of America's best-known young couples.
Chan is Chinese-American born in Boston and is now a student at Harvard Medical School.
Zuckerberg said he spent his vacation in China last year and will visit China again when Chan serves as an intern next year at the Beijing Children's Hospital.
Zuckerberg created Facebook with two friends in 2004. The website grew rapidly and became the world's largest social networking website in 2009. Facebook currently has more than 800 million active users per month and 500 million per day. The company is valued at an estimated US$80 billion.
The China Entrepreneur Club (CEC), established in December 2006, was launched by 31 of the country's most influential entrepreneurs, economists and diplomats. CEC members are the most vigorous representatives of the new Chinese economy. Around 37 CEC members visited the U.S. from Nov. 6 to 18. They met with influential political and business leaders, including UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, and visited leading finance and technology corporations, as well as top educational institutions.