Facebook Inc. founder and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg today visited the Beijing offices of Baidu Inc., China’s most-used Internet search engine, and met its Chief Executive Robin Li.
Today was a “private visit” by Zuckerberg who is in Beijing on vacation and has a “well-established” interest in China, Kaiser Kuo, a spokesman for Baidu, said today by telephone. Zuckerberg toured the company’s offices this morning and then had lunch and held meetings with Li until mid afternoon, Kuo said, declining to comment on what the executives discussed.
Time Magazine last week named Zuckerberg its “Person of the Year” for “creating a new system of exchanging information.” Li, whose Baidu accounts for almost three quarters of all internet searches in China, was named the nation’s second wealthiest person in October by Forbes Magazine with an estimated wealth of $7.2 billion.
Facebook has been inaccessible in China for more than a year. The Chinese government blocks access to web content that is pornographic, related to gambling and critical of the ruling Communist Party.
Google Inc., Baidu’s main rival in China, shut its search service in the country this year and began redirecting users to its Hong Kong website after saying it was no longer willing to censor the results of online queries. Baidu had a 73 percent share of China’s internet search market in the third quarter, almost triple Google’s 24.6 percent, according to research company iResearch.
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