Mayor Gregor Robertson today launched his Sina Weibo account at www.weibo.com/GregorRobertson, becoming one of the first high-profile Canadian politicians to use the popular Chinese-language micro-blogging service.
Sina Weibo is the largest Chinese-language social network in the world with over 360 million users.
“Using Sina Weibo is a way of directly engaging with the growing number of Vancouver residents who navigate the web in Chinese and English,” said Robertson. “It also enables better communication with the larger Chinese-speaking world, advancing Vancouver’s goals to become the greenest city by 2020, grow as a more welcoming and inclusive place for newcomers, and attract new jobs and investment to the region.”
Census results released last week by Statscan show that Chinese languages – primarily Cantonese and Mandarin – are spoken at home by almost 300,000 Metro Vancouver residents and an increasing number of Canadians all across the country.
Mayor Robertson’s account will be managed via the new Hootsuite-enabled Sina Weibo app in order to share postings between his English-language Twitter accounts @MayorGregor and @VanMayorsOffice, Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/VancouverMayorsOffice and Instagram account @VanMayorsOffice.
The Mayor’s Sina Weibo account gained over 13,000 new followers in its first 24 hours.
Mayor Robertson is an active user of social media as a tool for citizen engagement and regularly hosts Twitter town halls on topics such as homelessness and housing affordability.
Mayor Robertson joins Tourism Vancouver, the Canadian Embassy in Beijing and the office of London Mayor Boris Johnson in the United Kingdom, who are all active users of Sina Weibo.