Even world leaders love new toys, as Indonesia President Joko Widodo demonstrated during a visit to Facebook. He bonded with CEO Mark Zuckerberg over a game of zero gravity VR ping pong. Obama should carry one of these around like it was the nuclear football.
Zuckerberg posted an image of the two battling over next-level Pong after Widodo visited the company’s Menlo Park, California headquarters. The old friends go all the way back to 2014, when Zuckerberg visited Indonesia and the duo toured Jakarta’s Tanah Abang Market.
Zuckerberg posted the image of the ping pong match to Facebook Wednesday along with this description of the meeting:
I first met President Widodo in Jakarta a couple years ago when he took me on one of his famous impromptu walkabouts — or “blusukan” — where he meets and connects directly with people all around his country. We went to a market together and were immediately surrounded by hundreds of people. It was one of the most memorable experiences of my life.
Today we had a good conversation about continuing to work together to increase connectivity and extend the opportunities of the internet to everyone in Indonesia. It was an honor to host President Widodo and great to see him again. My last visit to the country was special for me and I can’t wait to travel there again.
Facebook wasn’t Widodo’s only tech drop in as he met with Silicon Valley leaders to advocate for Indonesia at a center for e-commerce and tech development. He also had meeting with Twitter’s Jack Dorsey and Google’s Sundar Pichai — who posted this sadly ping pong-free picture picture after their talk.
Widodo wants Indonesia to get more tech business and it’s a good bet that he tried to sell Zuckerberg on more than his backhand, but questions remain as to how open Widodo wants his country’s social media. Less than a week ago, Indonesia demanded a ban on same-sex emojis available on Facebook, Twitter, and Whatsapp. And Widodo’s visit coincided with his country’s ban on Tumblr for fear the site would expose people to pornography, and igniting fears that Indonesian’s online freedoms were shrinking.
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