Caixin
Mar 28, 2013 04:38 PM

Number of Gov't Weibo Accounts Soars

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(Beijing) -- More government organs and officials are using micrologging platforms to burnish their images and improve communication with the public, research by a government training center finds.

The survey by the Chinese Academy of Governance found that by December 20, 2012, a total of 176,700 weibo accounts had been opened by government organs and officials on the four major domestic weibo service providers.

The figure is a 249.5 percent increase from the end of 2011.

The four major operators of weibo, the Twitter-like blogging service, are Sina, Tencent, People's Daily Online and Xinhuanet.

The popularity of weibo has grown fast in China, making it an important way to exchange information. Sina Weibo is the largest provider, with more than 500 million registered users by the end of last year, 74 percent more than 2011. The average number of daily users was 46.2 million.

The accounts were opened by Communist Party committees, government departments, courts and prosecutors, as well as committees of local people's congress and political advisory bodies. Some of the accounts were opened by cadres and officials under their real names.

The report said government organs opened 113,400 weibo accounts, up 250 percent year on year. The number of officials' accounts rose 248 percent to 63,300.

Public security agencies opened the most government weibo accounts, 37 percent, followed by local party committees and propaganda offices. Peaceful Beijing, the official account of the capital's public security bureau, had 4.7 million followers on Sina Weibo. Beijingers can get traffic and other information from the account.

Government organs in the provinces of Shandong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang opened the most weibo accounts, while officials in Henan, Heilongjiang and Beijing had the most microblogging accounts.

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