No longer the ‘people’s son-in-law’? China disowns Zuckerberg after Senate testimony

by WorldTribune Staff, August 5, 2020

Mark Zuckerberg has run afoul of communist China after saying during Senate testimony last week that it is “well documented that the Chinese government steals technology from American companies.”

The Global Times: ‘After wooing China in the hopes of getting Facebook into [China] Zuckerberg has done a complete about-face. Some netizens said Facebook should be called Facelessbook.’
The Global Times, a propaganda outlet of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), said that Zuckerberg’s “willingness to set aside morality for profit shows the true face of U.S. capitalism.”

The Global Times noted that Zuckerberg, prior to his July 29 testimony at a Senate antitrust hearing, had been known as the “people’s son-in-law” due to his previously-friendly approach to CCP officials.

Zuckerberg’s wife, Priscilla, was born in Massachusetts. Her parents are ethnic Chinese who fled Vietnam as “boat people.” She spoke Cantonese in her home as a child.

During a 2016 visit to China, Zuckerberg met with propaganda chief Liu Yunshan but was criticized after being pictured jogging through Tiananmen Square without a face mask despite the heavy pollution. He shared a picture to his personal Facebook account from the country, despite the platform being banned inside China, Newsweek noted in an Aug. 5 report.

A Facebook spokesperson told CNN at the time that Zuckerberg and Liu had discussed “the future of Internet development,” leading to speculation the Facebook chief was trying to open up deals inside China. Propaganda outlets claimed Zuckerberg had praised China’s Internet development.

In the antitrust hearing on July 29, Zuckerberg described Facebook as a “proudly American company” and said it believes in values including democracy and free expression.

Related: Peter Thiel’s influence at Facebook is growing, May 4, 2020

“Many other tech companies share these values, but there’s no guarantee our values will win out. For example, China is building its own version of the internet focused on very different ideas, and they are exporting their vision to other countries,” he said.

The Global Times wrote: “After wooing China in the hopes of getting Facebook into [China] Zuckerberg has done a complete about-face. Some netizens said Facebook should be called Facelessbook, while others called on others to delete the app from their phones.”

The Global Times cited a founder of a think tank called ChinaLabs as saying: “It takes many things and a long time to see a person clearly, and it seems that ‘the Chinese people’s son-in-law’ has ended his fate with China.”


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