What can Facebook employees possibly learn from the Chinese president’s boring speeches?

The next great management thinker?
The next great management thinker?
Image: Reuters/David Moir
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Here’s something every tech entrepreneur ought to know: “Only the wearer of the shoes knows if they fit or not.”

At least, that’s according to Mark Zuckerberg. Facebook’s founder has said that he is making his employees read The Governance of China, a collection of speeches by and interviews with Chinese president Xi Jinping (whose fitting adage about shoes is quoted above).

It is unclear what insights Zuckerberg hopes his employees can glean from speeches with titles like Study, Disseminate and Implement the Guiding Principles of the 18th CPC National Congress. Zuckerberg may want his team to become familiar with the Communist Party’s Kafkaesque thinking on matters of process and censorship. Or maybe he was just trying to cozy up to party leaders: His book recommendation was announced during a visit to Facebook’s offices (link in Chinese) by China’s new internet czar.

Either way, it should be obvious from the book’s table of contents that Xi’s platitudes won’t be any immediate help to web developers and managers. Ambitious Facebookers would do better to read the classical Chinese management book The Art of War. Here’s the full table of contents of Xi’s volume, in all its stodginess:

*  *  *

Chapter 1: Socialism with Chinese Characteristics

  • The People’s Wish for a Good Life Is Our Goal
  • Study, Disseminate and Implement the Guiding Principles of the 18th CPC National Congress
  • Uphold and Develop Socialism with Chinese Characteristics
  • Carry on the Enduring Spirit of Mao Zedong Thought

Chapter 2: The Chinese Dream

  • Achieving Rejuvenation Is the Dream of the Chinese People
  • Address to the First Session of the 12th National People’s Congress
  • Hard Work Makes Dreams Come True
  • Realize Youthful Dreams
  • The Chinese Dream Will Benefit Not Only the People of China, But Also of Other Countries
  • Right Time to Innovate and Make Dreams Come True
  • The Rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation Is a Dream Shared by All Chinese

Chapter 3: All-round and Deeper-level Reform

  • Reform and Opening up Is Always Ongoing and Will Never End
  • Explanatory Notes to the “Decision of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China on
  • Some Major Issues Concerning Comprehensively Continuing the Reform”
  • Align Our Thinking with the Guidelines of the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee
  • Push Ahead with Reform Despite More Difficulties
  • Improve Governance Capability Through the Socialist System with Chinese Characteristics

Chapter 4: Economic Development

  • Economic Growth Must Be Genuine and Not Inflated
  • Open Wider to the Outside World
  • The “Invisible Hand” and the “Visible Hand”
  • Transition to Innovation-driven Growth
  • Revolutionize Energy Production and Consumption

Chapter 5: Rule of Law

  • Commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the Promulgation and Implementation of the Current Constitution
  • Develop a Law-based Country, Government and Society
  • Promote Social Fairness and Justice, Ensure a Happy Life for the People

Chapter 6: Culturally Advanced China

  • Enhance Publicity and Theoretical Work
  • Strong Ethical Support for the Realization of the Chinese Dream
  • Enhance China’s Cultural Soft Power
  • Cultivate and Disseminate the Core Socialist Values
  • Young People Should Practice the Core Socialist Values
  • Foster and Practice Core Socialist Values from Childhood

Chapter 7: Social Undertakings

  • Eliminate Poverty and Accelerate Development in Impoverished Areas
  • Better and Fairer Education for the 1.3 Billion Chinese People
  • Accelerate the Development of Housing Security and Supply
  • Always Put People’s Lives First
  • Build China into a Cyberpower
  • A Holistic View of National Security
  • Safeguard National Security and Social Stability

Chapter 8: Ecological Progress

  • A Better Environment for a Beautiful China
  • Usher in a New Era of Ecological Progress
  • Leave to Our Future Generations Blue Skies, Green Fields and Clean Water

Chapter 9: National Defense

  • Build up Our National Defense and Armed Forces
  • Build Strong National Defense and Powerful Military Forces
  • Build People’s Armed Forces That Follow the Party’s Commands, Are Able to Win

Chapter 10: “One Country, Two Systems”

  • Hong Kong, Macao and the Chinese Mainland Are Closely Linked by Destiny
  • Create a Better Future for the Chinese Nation Hand in Hand
  • Handle Cross-Straits Relations in the Overall Interests of the Chinese Nation
  • Together Fulfill the Chinese Dream of National Rejuvenation
  • Take on the Task of Expanding Cross-Straits Relations and Achieving National Rejuvenation

Chapter 11: Peaceful Development

  • Strengthen the Foundation for Pursuing Peaceful Development
  • Work Together for Mutually Beneficial Cooperation
  • Follow a Sensible, Coordinated and Balanced Approach to Nuclear Security
  • Exchanges and Mutual Learning Make Civilizations Richer and More Colorful
  • China’s Commitment to Peaceful Development

Chapter 12: New Model of Major-country Relations

  • Follow the Trend of the Times and Promote Global Peace and Development
  • Build a New Model of Major-country Relationship Between China and the United States
  • Build a Bridge of Friendship and Cooperation Across the Eurasian Continent

Chapter 13: Neighborhood Diplomacy

  • Work Together to Build the Silk Road Economic Belt
  • Work Together to Build a 21st-century Maritime Silk Road
  • Diplomacy with Neighboring Countries Characterized by Friendship, Sincerity, Reciprocity and Inclusiveness

Chapter 14: Cooperation with Developing Countries

  • Be Trustworthy Friends and Sincere Partners Forever
  • Forge a Stronger Partnership Between China and Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Promote the Silk Road Spirit, Strengthen China-Arab Cooperation

Chapter 15: Multilateral Relations

  • Work Hand in Hand for Common Development
  • A Better Future for Asia and the World
  • Jointly Maintain and Develop an Open World Economy
  • Carry Forward the “Shanghai Spirit” and Promote Common Development
  • Work Together for a Better Asia Pacific
  • New Approach for Asian Security Cooperation

Chapter 16: Close Ties with the People

  • Strictly Enforce Diligence and Thrift, Oppose Extravagance and Waste
  • The Mass Line: Fundamental to the CPC
  • The Guiding Thoughts and Goals for the Program of Mass Line Education and Practice
  • Establish and Promote the Conduct of “Three Stricts and Three Earnests”

Chapter 17: Combat Corruption

  • Power Must Be “Caged” by the System
  • Historical Wisdom Helps Us Combat Corruption and Uphold Integrity
  • Improve Party Conduct, Uphold Integrity and Combat Corruption

Chapter 18: The CPC Leadership

  • Follow a Good Blueprint
  • Study for a Brighter Future
  • “Governing a Big Country Is as Delicate as Frying a Small Fish”
  • Train and Select Good Officials


Man of the People — Profile of Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the CPC