The scene in the office of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg last week was as astonishing as it was revealing: the famed founder of the social media network hosting a Chinese Communist Party official whose responsibility includes preventing Facebook from entering China.
On the surface, it seems that Zuckerberg had all the right reasons to get to know Lu Wei, a vice minister of propaganda who doubles as the director of the State Internet Information Office. In the Western media, Lu is described as China’s “Internet czar,” implying that he is the gatekeeper who decides which Western Internet giants can do business in China.
Beijing not only has kept Facebook out of China, but it also has blocked access to Facebook from inside China. Because China now has the world’s largest population of Internet users (estimated at 640 million in 2014), no responsible CEO of an American technology company can afford…
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