Putting on only a happy face rather than a facemask, Facebook’s billionaire founder Mark Zuckerberg went for a run in Beijing Friday morning despite air pollution readings. Afterwards, Zuckerberg posted a photo of himself and accompanying staffers on the Internet.
But Beijing residents who know how polluted the place really is ridiculed him in various ways. One commenter rhetorically asked the Chinese-speaking billionaire whether he planned to donate a lung just to get his social media site accepted in China.
Zuckerberg has been trying without success to get Facebook allowed in the Asian country for years now. And this last endeavor may be yet another effort to win Beijing over.
Facebook’s owner jogged in Beijing through the famed Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City, despite the cloud of haze around him.
On Friday morning, the city and most of northern China were shrouded in a dense cloud of smog. According to pollution warnings, residents should have stayed home or wear facemasks if they planned to venture outdoors.
The U.S. embassy reported that by the time Mr. Zuckerberg was going for his morning jog, air pollution readings hit ‘hazardous’ levels. When that happens, Beijing residents rarely go outside or wear facemasks if they do. But seeing a jogger and without wearing a facemask is quite an oddity.
Zuckerberg wrote in an accompanying post that he wanted to kick off his visit in China with a morning jog through some of Beijing’s historical sites.
Though the Chinese cannot access Facebook from China, they can fend off the “Great Firewall” by masking their IP through a virtual private network (VPN). This is how some of them commented on Zukerberg’s recent post.
Commenter Christina Tan, who said she lived in Beijing, urged him to stop running outside. She added that she wouldn’t recommend anyone to run outside in the smog-choked city.
Surprisingly, the city’s skies turned crystal clear not long after the billionaire’s run. A user called Weibo noted that Zukerberg did so much “kowtowing” that he must have absorbed all the air pollution, so the sky became blue hours later.
But all joking aside, Beijing is one of the world’s most polluted cities. In its worst days, the air quality index (AQI) readings can reach more than 250 which is 20 times over the recommended level by the WHO. When that happens, seniors and the sick are urged to stay inside, while healthy people should avoid outdoor activities.
Image Source: YouTube