Connect to share and comment

A guide to the dynamic economics, politics, and culture of the world's most populous region.

Zuckerberg in (Facebook-banning) Vietnam

He claims to be "on holiday" in the censored market.
Mark zuckerberg vietnam 2011 12 26Enlarge
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg pauses as he delivers a keynote address during a Facebook f8 conference on September 22, 2011 in San Francisco, California. (JUSTIN SULLIVAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Vietnam's official government ban on Facebook hasn't dissuaded CEO Mark Zuckerberg from visiting.

In fact, the communist nation's Facebook ban may have prodded the young billionaire to chose Vietnam for his ongoing Christmas holiday.

Just as the tech industry has attempted to decipher Zuckerberg's first visit to China last year -- also billed as a mere "vacation" -- buzz and speculation surround Zuckerberg's decision to take his girlfriend island hopping in Vietnam.

Why not Facebook-mad Thailand or Indonesia?

Tech journalist Jon Russell at The Next Web concludes that the trip is, in part, meant to open up Vietnam's market.

"Given this background," he writes, "Zuckerberg’s insatiable work ethic and his interest (near-obsession) with taking Facebook to one billion users, we think that its founder, though clearly on holiday, is making some time available to work on local issues."

The site VietnamNet reports that Hunyh Kim Tuoc, Facebook's Vietnam representative, is keeping secret the details of Zuckerberg's trip.

But Zuckerberg's designs on Vietnam are blatantly obvious. Why else would he hire a representative there in defiance of the government ban?