Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has often said that Facebook isn’t a monopoly, because it has many competitors. And yet, Facebook owns some of the most popular social media platform in the world - Instagram, WhatsApp and the Messenger. Facebook alone has a daily user base of 1.5 billion people, who on an average spend about an hour on its various platforms.
Such a dominance over any space naturally raises questions about fair competition, and activists did so for Facebook as well. However, in a recent interview with Recode, Mark Zuckerberg said that breaking up Facebook could actually be bad for America. (Egoistic much?!)
Zuckerberg has to say that if Facebook is broken up, then the Chinese companies will get a way in to dominate the market. (That does sound like a monopoly to us!) And from what he says, his real issue with the Chinese companies taking over is that they do not have the “American values”.
“If we adopt a stance which is that, okay, we’re going to, as a country, decide that we’re going to clip the wings of these [American] companies and make it so that it’s harder for them to operate in different places or they have to be smaller, then there are plenty of other companies out there that are willing and able to take the place of the work that we’re doing,” he said, specifically suggesting Chinese tech companies as the replacements. “And they do not share the values that we have,” Mark Zuckerberg told Recode.
“I think you can bet that, if the government here is worried about — whether it’s election interference or terrorism — I don’t think Chinese companies are going to want to cooperate as much and aid the national interest there,” he added.
Zuckerberg also made it clear that if Facebook is so huge right now, it’s not just because it is popular in the US, but because it is big in the whole world. “The reason why we are a successful and a large company is because we have built something here that can serve billions of people around the world as well, which is actually where the margin comes from,” he said. “Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of revenue in the United States as well, but that would barely cover the costs of the company.”
While Facebook’s growth is indeed by the whole world and not just the US, Zuckerberg needs to acknowledge the kind of impact the platform has on the American, it probably has on no one else. Afterall, it has been 18 months and the country is still debating on how Facebook may have impacted the US presidential elections.
As for his fears of Chinese companies taking over if Facebook was broken up, they do seem real. While such a break up is unlikely to happen, but Facebook’s backhand rivalry with China is quite evident considering none of its apps work in the country.