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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Government microblog use triples

(Shanghai Daily)

08:57, December 13, 2011

THE number of verified Weibo social networking accounts registered by government departments, service operations and officials has tripled in the past year,, China's leading microblog service provider, said yesterday.

The number of government-related users hit 20,000 at the end of October, Sina said.

Sina officials said the growth indicated an increasing willingness to enhance public communications through the social networking tool.

However, based on online responses from popular cyber communities, many web users are still urging more transparency and quicker responses to major news and events.

Some said the quality and effectiveness of communications through government Weibo accounts was more important than their numbers.

Weibo became popular with the public last year and registered Weibo users on Sina have now grown to 250 million.

Almost 20,000 government-related users include more than 10,000 government departments and around 9,000 public servants and officials.

In terms of followers, Sina said the Beijing Public Security Bureau's account is the most influential government agency on Weibo. Shanghai Metro ranked fourth.

Shanghai was among four cities - the others being Beijing, Chongqing and Tianjin - to receive a special award for offering an official municipality government microblog.

Shanghaicity, the Shanghai government Weibo account, has attracted more than 400,000 followers since launching on November 28.

To date, nearly 600 Shanghai government offices and institutions have official microblogs and around 300 city officials publish posts.

However, web users have complained that some government microblogs are rarely updated.

Shanghai Metro Weibo has seen its number of followers grow to more than 1.15 million.

The Metro operator uses its account to provide daily travel tips and explain delays to travelers.

"Government officials and agencies should be using and updating their microblogs as actively as average users," said Xie Yungeng, a humanities professor of Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

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