Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, fresh out of the firm’s annual shareholder’s meeting, met with two Samsung Electronics executives during a trip to South Korea this week. Attendees at the meeting included vice chairman Lee Jae-yong and mobile unit chief Shin Jong-kyun, and Zuckerberg reportedly asked whether Samsung was interested in manufacturing a “Facebook-friendly” smartphone. However, Samsung is apparently uninterested in helping Facebook expand into the mobile hardware market, an anonymous source told The Korea Herald.
“Samsung doesn’t want to help nurture a second Google, which is now becoming a formidable rival for Samsung in the handset business,” an industry watcher told the newspaper, adding that the company does not see any financial or symbolic advantage to partnering with Zuckerberg. Considering the HTC First’s poor performance, Samsung is probably making the right decision.
Zuckerberg also spoke with South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye prior to his meeting at Samsung. He reportedly told the president that Facebook can help the country’s smaller and mid-sized companies grow, suggesting that if Samsung declines to make a Facebook phone the social network may partner with another South Korean company instead. According to The Korea Herald, Zuckerberg did not meet with LG during his trip.