Mark Zuckerberg Speaks Mandarin

Mark Zuckerberg Speaks Mandarin

Think you’re too busy to learn another language? Well, you’re not the CEO of a $205 billion company, and apparently, even this rather demanding job leaves plenty of time to learn some serious Mandarin.

Case in point: the video that Mark Zuckerberg just posted to Facebook. It shows off his 30-minute Q&A at Tsinghua University in Beijing in which he answered every question exclusively in Chinese.

We have absolutely no idea if he’s any good, but the audience was decidedly thrilled. The crowd gasped and applauded as soon as he started speaking, and the good vibes appeared to last throughout the chat.

Zuckerberg’s proficiency would appear to be the positive result of one of his annual self-improvement challenges. Every year, Zuckerberg picks a skill or a goal to pursue with extreme focus. This year, the plan was to write one thoughtful thank-you note every day. In 2010, his aim was to learn Mandarin.

The effort seems to have paid off in a whole lot of good will from his audience at Tsinghua, where he said he also just joined the board of the university’s School of Economics and Management. But the ultimate purpose of Zuckerberg’s charm offensive is probably much more ambitious. Right now, Facebook is still banned in China. Maybe next year, his goal will be to get it unblocked. Maybe he can promise the Chinese government a nice thank-you note—written in Mandarin.

Here’s the video: