China Turns on 'Son in Law' Zuckerberg for Showing 'True Face of U.S. Capitalism'

The Chinese state launched an attack on Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg this week, indicating the U.S. billionaire is now firmly in the bad books.

The Global Times, a tabloid mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), said his "willingness to set aside morality for profit shows the true face of U.S. capitalism," citing comments Zuckerberg made during the July 29 antitrust hearing.

The founder of the U.S. social networking giant stood out from his peers during his live-streaming remarks last week after telling senators that it was "well documented that the Chinese government steals technology from American companies."

The Chinese state outlet suggested Zuckerberg was previously known as the "people's son-in-law" due to his previously-friendly approach to officials in the country.

While visiting back in 2016, Zuckerberg met with China's propaganda chief Liu Yunshan but was criticized after being pictured jogging through Tiananmen Square without a face mask despite the heavy pollution. He shared a picture to his personal Facebook account from the country, despite the platform being banned inside China.

A Facebook spokesperson told CNN at the time the pair had talked about "the future of internet development," leading to speculation he was trying open up deals inside China. Its state media claimed Zuckerberg praised China's internet development.

Fast forward to 2020, however, and Zuckerberg has taken a U.S.-centric approach as Facebook faces scrutiny for its competitive practices and internal policies.

In the antitrust hearing, he described Facebook as "proudly American company" and said it believes in values including democracy and free expression.

"Many other tech companies share these values, but there's no guarantee our values will win out. For example, China is building its own version of the internet focused on very different ideas, and they are exporting their vision to other countries," he said.

Chinese-owned mobile app TikTok is currently in the crosshairs of the U.S. government, and Facebook is set to imminently launch a rival on Instagram known as Reels.

"After wooing China in the hopes of getting Facebook into [China] Zuckerberg has done a complete about-face," the Global Times wrote, without revealing where the comments or sentiments had been sourced from. "Some netizens said Facebook should be called Facelessbook, while others called on others to delete the app from their phones."

The CCP mouthpiece, a frequent critic of the U.S., cited a founder of a think tank called ChinaLabs as saying: "It takes many things and a long time to see a person clearly, and it seems that 'the Chinese people's son-in-law' has ended his fate with China."

Facebook has been contacted for comment by Newsweek.

Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before the House Financial Services Committee in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill October 23, 2019 in Washington, DC Chip Somodevilla/Getty