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Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg Visits Baidu Offices in China

A Baidu employee, right, chats with a visitor during the Baidu Technology Innovation Conference held in Beijing, China (FILE).

The chief executive officer and co-founder of the popular social networking website Facebook has met with the head of China's top search engine Baidu.

A spokesman for the search engine said Mark Zuckerberg and Baidu chief Robin Li toured the company's offices in Beijing Monday and had lunch together. It was not immediately clear what they discussed.

China censors Internet content it deems politically sensitive and blocks many websites, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The country's Internet censorship is among the toughest in the world, with some critics dubbing the policy as the "Great Firewall."

Zuckerberg has expressed interest in doing business in China, telling an audience recently, "How can you connect the whole world if you leave out 1.6 billion people?"

The Chinese government says at least 380 million of its citizens have access to the Internet and that it plans to boost that number to nearly half of its population during the next five years.

With 500 million users globally, if Facebook was a country, it would be the world's third most populous after China and India.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.