Zuckerberg Accepts Chinese Green Card Offer2016-04-01 14:15:22Share:
Fresh off a jog through Beijing Tiananmen Square, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has been named one of the first recipients of a fast-track "green card" program aimed at attracting overseas talent to permanently relocate to China.
“It’s apparent to me that the zeitgeist of the digital economy has moved from Silicon Valley to Beijing,” Zuckerberg said, simultaneously announcing the purchase of the southern half of the 798 Art District, where he plans to build a 4,000-square-meter digitally-enhanced smart home patterned after the residential portions of the Forbidden City.
Under the program, Zuckerberg, his Chinese-American wife Priscilla, and their infant daughter will immediately receive Chinese permanent residency, which according to the Regulations of the People's Republic of China on Administration of the Entry and Exit of Foreigners entitles them to enjoy equal rights and shoulder the same duties as Chinese nationals, with the only exception being political rights and duties.
Zuckerberg believes relocating to Beijing will give him the best chance of getting Facebook unblocked in China, and no amount of PM2.5 is going to stop him.
“Breathing in a few milligrams of toxic air daily is a small price to pay for access to China’s massively lucrative market,” Zuckerberg said, adding that he intends to homeschool his child in his new courtyard that will be built using negative-pressure cleanroom technology, similar to that used in Intel chip fabrication plants.
Zuckerberg’s plans were revealed for the first time during an exclusive interview on the Sinica podcast conducted by hosts Kaiser Kuo and Jeremy Goldkorn, who taped the interview from the rec room of the billionaire’s Palo Alto home.
“All of that whining expats do about the air is a little overkill,” Zuckerberg said while recovering from his Beijing jog in the hyperbaric chamber he purchased from the estate of deceased pop starMichael Jackson. "By the time we reach the age when lung cancer typically sets in, I'm sure technology will have a solution anyhow."
Under the green card plan, Zuckerberg must stay in China for at least three months every year, and if he is unable to do so, he must apply for a special exception from the Beijing Public Security Bureau.
A statue of Zuckerberg's now-famous run will be erected in Tiananmen Square
He says this should be no problem for him, as he spends about that much time here currying favor with officials already.
"Plus, Beijing is where all the billionaires live these days," Zuckerberg said. "What's not to love?"
Local officials praised Zuckerberg’s wisdom in choosing to turn away from Western imperialism and embrace Chinese cultural values, and also lauded him for his brave move being the vanguard of American "white flight" from America.
"This is a significant move by China's government to adapt to economic globalization and push forward reform and opening-up,” said one ministry official. “[Zuckerberg] will help with modernization of socialism, and pave the way for the normalization and regulation of examination and approval of permanent residency of aliens in China."
Officials eager to net Zuckerberg as a resident have granted him the customary official police detail to create roadblocks during rush hour; given him a personal helicopter with landing rights atop the CCTV tower; and have agreed to erect a statue of his now famous jogadjacent to the Monument of the People's Heroes in Tiananmen Square.
He has also been given a permanent advisory seat on the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, where he will represent foreign residents of China. "I plan to use my influence to get foreigners recognized as the official 57th ethnic minority in China," he said.
To that end he has already commissioned Chinese-American designer Vera Wang to design the required official ethnic costume and Chinese-American choreographer Shen Wei to create the official ethnic dance.
Zuckerberg declined to name which Virtual Private Network (VPN) service he will use to access his own site, but said he sought no special treatment. "I want to experience the way my customers in China do, even if that sometimes means not experiencing it at all," he said.
Zuckerberg seals the deal with a firm handshake
The Zuckerberg family plans to relocate mid-April. Until their new home is finished will be living in the Presidential Suite at the 7-star Pangu Plaza Hotel next to the Olympic Green.
Beijing citizens are naturally overjoyed to be adding such a well-known international to its ranks.
"A century of Chinese humilation is now over!" exclaimed Dongsi hutong resident Kai Wanxiao. "He's obviously a smart man. His wife is Chinese!" Kai, who operates a small 15-seat noodle shop, promised to give Zuckerberg the "friend price" anytime he visits.
To commemorate his relocation, Zuckerberg has booked the Gongti-area Vic's nightclub for an invitation-only party Friday, April 29 hosted by perhaps China's most famous foreign resident,Mark Rowswell, otherwise known as Da Shan.
Blogger and China spirits expert Jim Boyce has also signed up Zuckerberg as official spokesperson for World Baijiu Day. Boyce reports that Zuckerberg's favorite tipple is Hongxin Erguotou and the entrepreneur has amassed one of the world's largest collections of the Chinese spirit.
In a simultaneous announcement, citizenship has also been granted to Kenny G and the grandchildren of KFC founder Colonel Harland David Sanders for their outstanding contributions to Chinese society.
Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the founders of Google, were also offered citizenship but respectfully declined.
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