Weibo's Power in China

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140 Words, A Revolution
Feng Feng
Sprouted from May 2007, “Weibo” gradually entered Chinese society following the “global storm” brought by “Twitter” in 2006. In August 2009, Sina Corporation launched the Sina Weibo, which allows users to post microblogs with a 140-word restriction. Later, Sina Weibo soon became the largest microblogging site in China and has gathered 200 million registered users currently. After Sina, many integrated sites, news sites, e-commerce sites, and SNS all established their own weibo. Weibo has brought remarkable changes to China on not only the communication channel but also the Chinese civil society development. It builds up a “microblogging” platform where the government, enterprises, media, citizens, and intellectuals can communicate directly, which is driving a “micro-revolution”. Case Study: Save Begging Children with a Picture

At the beginning of 2011, the famous scholar Yu Jianrong set up an account in Sina Weibo and titled it “Save Begging Children with a Picture”. According to the reality in China that many young children are kidnapped by human traffickers and forced to work as beggars in the urban districts, Yu advocated and encouraged his followers to take pictures of begging children they met and uploaded the photos to Weibo. He expected to help making these begging children seen by their parents and polices and thus got an opportunity to be saved. The non-governmental anti-trafficking action officially kicked off and attracted tens of thousands of followers to join. What’s more, later it got concerns from the Ministry of Public Security and the director of the Department of Anti-trafficking, Chen Shiqu, responded through his weibo “For each clue, the Ministry will be responsible of verification.” Many local police offices also announced through weibo that they would investigate thoroughly on begging children issues. Finally, a individual non-government action turned out to be a cooperation among internet users, the...
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