Why Mark Zuckerberg is reading Hank Paulson's new book about China
He's hoping it will give him more insight into modern Chinese culture. This may also aide his ongoing quest to persuade the Chinese government to grant its 1.4 billion citizens access to his social network.
Paulson served as the US Treasury Secretary during the financial crisis and previously as the CEO of Goldman Sachs. Since 2011, he has headed the Paulson Institute, an organization dedicated to fostering relationships between American and Chinese businesses.
In his book, Paulson argues that the US's bilateral relationship with China is its most important, and that the US has a responsibility to cooperate with China as it competes with China, or else risk debilitating conflict.
Last October, Zuckerberg conducted an interview entirely in Mandarin at Tsinghua University School, expressing his desire to see Facebook utilized to its fullest in China, noting the appeal to businesses. This February, he broke out his Mandarin again to wish the world a happy Chinese New Year in a video posted on his Facebook page.
Zuckerberg explains his latest book-club pick on his personal Facebook page:
This book is about Paulson's experience working with Chinese leaders over two decades as US Secretary of the Treasury and as head of Goldman Sachs.
Over the last 35 years, China has experienced one of the greatest economic and social transformations in human history. Hundreds of millions of people have moved out of poverty. By many measures, China has done more to lift people out of poverty than the whole rest of the world combined.
I've been personally interested as a student of Chinese culture, history and language. I'm looking forward to reading Paulson's perspective on what China's rise means for the world.
It would be a huge win for Facebook to tap the Chinese market. "We want to help other places in the world connect to China," Zuckerberg said at Tsinghua University last fall.
"A Year of Books" so far:
- "The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being In Charge Isn?t What It Used to Be" by Moisés Naím
- "The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined" by Steven Pinker
- "Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the Streets" by Sudhir Venkatesh
- "On Immunity: An Inoculation" by Eula Biss
- "Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration" by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace
- "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" by Thomas S. Kuhn
- "Rational Ritual: Culture, Coordination, and Common Knowledge" by Michael Chwe
- "Dealing with China: An Insider Unmasks the New Economic Superpower" by Henry M. Paulson