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Zuckerberg continues to court China with improved Mandarin

Mark Zuckerberg
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Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg has been busy.

After spending the last year working on a 'dislike' button, preparing to launch a satellite into orbit and revealing plans to open a school in California, the Facebook CEO still found time to brush up on his Mandarin.

The entrepreneur showcased his much improved language skills on Saturday at the Tsinghua University in Beijing, where he spoke for 22 minutes about Facebook's evolving mission to connect people across the globe.

"There were so many websites on the Internet, and you could find almost everything — news, music, books, things to buy — but there was no service to help us find the most important thing to our lives: people," he said about creating Facebook in 2004. "I now see the same stories when I look at Chinese companies like Alibaba and Xiaomi."


This isn't the first time that Zuckerberg has addressed students at the Tsinghua University. Last October, the CEO participated in a public Q&A session entirely in Chinese. Zuckerberg received some criticism for his heavy accent, but many applauded his willingness to learn the language.

His speech on Saturday seemed to underline his eagerness to expand in China, despite the country's ban on Internet companies like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

"There is a good Chinese saying, which says that if you work at it hard enough, you can grind an iron bar into a needle," Zuckerberg said. "If you keep working hard, you will change the world."

I just gave my first ever speech in Chinese at Tsinghua University in Beijing -- on why you need a strong sense of mission to change the world.This was also my first real speech in any language sharing how I started thinking about Facebook's mission, what has kept me going through challenging times and what our mission means now looking ahead for our community of 1.5 billion people.This video also has English subtitles and you may find it interesting if you're thinking about building something or are interested in Facebook's history.The themes of believing in your mission, caring more deeply than anyone else and always looking ahead are relevant to anything you might build.Last year I joined the board of Tsinghua's School of Economics and Management. This is a great center of innovation and many of the students here will become global leaders in technology, business and government. It's an honor to have the opportunity to help this university and talk with its students. I look forward to coming back again next year!

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Saturday, October 24, 2015