Though Facebook's calling Mark Zuckerberg's Shanghai trip a "vacation," whatever the Facebook CEO is doing over there with his girlfriend Priscilla Chan doesn't look like too much fun. Zuckerberg and Chan were spotted touring the city together by Chinese bloggers on the popular microblog platform Weibo. As you can see from the photo above, Zuckerberg doesn't look too happy. But maybe that's all the stress from the possibly, very unsubstantiated rumor that the Facebook man has gone to China for business.
The official word is "vacation," but the sight of Zuckerberg has Chinese bloggers wondering if this visit might have deeper meaning. "Does this mean... Facebook is preparing to be unblocked?" said Kelisisong on Sina, a popular Chinese microblog service, via Channel News Asia. About 450,000 people access the social network illegally, according to The New York Times. But Facebook does not yet have a legitimate presence in China for reasons it blames on the Chinese government. "We continue to evaluate entering China," Facebook said in a filing with the SEC. “However, this market has substantial legal and regulatory complexities that have prevented our entry into China to date." But because of the country's ginormous population, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg has expressed interest in expansion over there, especially in light of all this we-need-to-prove-our-worth IPO stuff going on. "Given our track record so far, I have confidence that we have a good shot at winning whenever it makes sense for us to enter [China]. But we need to figure out what that is going to look like," she said in an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek.