Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg to visit Vietnam

By Chau An   November 10, 2017 | 03:19 am PT
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg to visit Vietnam
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo by AFP
Business or pleasure on this occasion for the social network mastermind?

Founder and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg is expected to arrive in Vietnam on Saturday.

Zuckerberg is scheduled to visit world heritage site Ha Long Bay in northern Vietnam and take a seaplane tour around the bay on Saturday morning.

This will be his second visit to Vietnam after his first trip in 2011, when he toured the country with his then-girlfriend-now-wife Priscilla Chan for a Christmas vacation.

On this visit, the world's fifth richest person according to Forbes magazine, will be accompanied by colleagues.

In March, Vu Tien Loc, chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), said Vietnam had invited Facebook leaders, including Zuckerberg, to attend the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit that concludes Saturday in the central city of Da Nang.

“We want Facebook leaders to join hands with Vietnam to support startups, and we hope Zuckerberg will accept the invitation,” he said.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg has been in Da Nang since Wednesday and delivered a speech at the APEC CEO Summit on Friday morning.

She is scheduled to appear on a talk show to discuss equality in the workplace on Sunday in Hanoi.

Vietnam is in the top 10 countries for Facebook users, and Google's YouTube is also a popular platform.

Last week, a draft law on internet security that would require foreign companies such as Google and Facebook to have offices and servers in Vietnam was met with strong opposition from experts and industry insiders.

The VCCI said it went against commitments that Vietnam signed up to when it joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), as well as the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP).

Insiders said if the bill is passed, Google, Facebook, Skype and Viber would have to invest in giant servers in Vietnam to legally operate in the country.

In that case, local internet providers said there is a high possibility that they would drop out of the Vietnamese market.

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