Facebook, along with other social media sites such as Instagram and Twitter, is blocked in China, but CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to change that. The White Plains, New York-born entrepreneur started the networking platform more than 10 years ago from his Harvard dorm room. Now, he reportedly wants to launch it in the People’s Republic, which boasts a population of more than 1.35 billion. Bringing Facebook to the country would allow the site’s ads to reach China’s 640 million Internet users.
To get an insider’s take on how things work in the Middle Kingdom, Zuckerberg is reading Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recently-released book “The Governance of China.” He is also said to be buying copies for employees.
Zuckerberg hasn’t been shy about the company’s lofty goals. Speaking Mandarin, he told an audience during a 30-minute interview at Beijing’s Tsinghua University in October that Facebook’s goal is to “connect the entire world” and that “we need everybody to use the Internet.” (Zuckerberg’s wife, Priscilla Chan, is of Chinese descent, and the CEO learned Mandarin in part to be able to converse with his in-laws.)
China isn’t the only country to block Facebook. It's also prohibited or partially banned in Syria, Iraq and Iran. Some countries have chosen to ban the social media site for limited periods of time, including Egypt, which blocked it for several days in Egypt during the 2011 protests.