Facebook's Zuckerberg visits China microblog operator Sina

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg continued his tour of China on Wednesday and met the head of Sina, the operator of a popular microblogging service and Internet portal.

Zuckerberg visited Sina CEO Charles Chao to talk about China's Internet market, said Sina spokesman Liu Qi.

"(Zuckerberg) exchanged his views on China's Internet market and wanted to understand Sina's Weibo (microblog), the hottest Internet product in the country," Liu added.

Photos of Zuckerberg making his visit also appeared on a Chinese microblog.

Zuckerberg said he would visit China during the holidays, given that his girlfriend has family in the country, according to an interview with Time Magazine. But starting this week, the Facebook CEO has been spotted visiting major tech companies in Beijing.

On Monday, Zuckerberg made a visit to Baidu, China's largest search engine, where he met with senior staff including the company's CEO Robin Li.

Local Chinese news outlets also reported that on Tuesday Zuckerberg visited China Mobile, the country's largest mobile carrier. China Mobile, however, has yet to confirm whether a meeting took place.

China is one of the world's largest Internet markets, with more than 420 million Internet users. But Facebook, which has more than 500 million active users, is currently blocked in the country, along with other popular U.S. sites such as Twitter and Facebook. The Chinese government limits access to certain Internet content it deems inappropriate or politically sensitive.

Meanwhile, other social networking sites from Chinese companies like Kaixin001.com or Renren.com have already become popular in the country.

Sina operates one of the country's leading Internet portals. The company also launched its Weibo microblogging service in August 2009, only to see it attract more than 50 million users in over a year. Sina's CEO has said he believes the microblog's user base will reach 100 million by the first half of 2011. He has also added that the microblog should start making ad revenue next year.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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