Zuckerberg to paint Facebook as ‘proudly American company,’ contrast with Chinese internet model
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will describe his company as being “proudly American” while warning about China’s model for the internet during his testimony before Congress, according to a copy of his opening remarks reviewed by The Hill Tuesday.
Zuckerberg, along with the chief executives of Amazon, Apple and Google, are set to testify before the House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust Wednesday as part of the group’s investigation into competition in the digital marketplace.
In his opening remarks, Facebook’s CEO will emphasize that the company continues to grow because of competition. He will also argue that the platform is founded on American values.
“Although people around the world use our products, Facebook is a proudly American company. We believe in values — democracy, competition, inclusion and free expression — that the American economy was built on,” Zuckerberg is set to say.
“Many other tech companies share these values, but there’s no guarantee our values will win out.”
Zuckerberg will also say the alternative to the way the internet is currently organized is China’s model, an argument he previewed during a lengthy speech at Georgetown University last year.
“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,” his testimony reads.
“As Congress and other stakeholders consider how antitrust laws support competition in the U.S., I believe it’s important to maintain the core values of openness and fairness that have made America’s digital economy a force for empowerment and opportunity here and around the world.”
Although Zuckerberg is now very critical of China’s approach to the internet, he spent the better half of the decade pushing to overturn the country’s ban on Facebook.
He even tried to purchase the app Musical.ly, which became TikTok, in 2016, according to BuzzFeed News, signaling a continued desire to work with China.
Zuckerberg is likely to face questions about Facebook’s acquisitions of Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014.
In the prepared testimony, he defends the purchases, arguing that those two platforms would not be as big without Facebook’s intervention.
“Instagram and WhatsApp have been able to grow and operate their services using Facebook’s bespoke, lower-cost infrastructure and tackle spam and harmful content with Facebook’s integrity teams and technology,” Zuckerberg is set to say.
Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.