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Report: Micro blogs spread scandals' reach, harm

By Meng Fanbin (China Daily)

08:24, February 10, 2012

BEIJING - With social media becoming more common in China, micro blogs have become the greatest source of scandals that damage companies' reputations, according to a report released on Thursday.

Micro blogs have also helped ensure that news of scandals spreads faster, and with a greater reach, the report said.

The far-reaching popularity of micro blogs will have serious consequences for companies and brands operating in China, said Debby Cheung, president of Ogilvy & Mather Group Shanghai on Thursday. Micro blogs have become one of the most common means of provoking scandals and furthering their spread, she said.

Ogilvy & Mather, an international advertising agency, and CIC, a provider of business intelligence in China, worked together to publish the white paper Crisis Management in the Micro Blog Era.

Their work used information culled from micro blogs on Tencent Weibo and Sina Weibo, as well as from reports from the search engine Baidu and various media reviews, to identify and analyze the biggest online scandals of 2011.

The report said the pervasive use of micro blogs has led to scandals arising with increasing frequency and speed.

In 2011, a series of corporate scandals affecting both multinational and domestic brands first came to public notice or spread on micro blogs - called weibo in Chinese. The issues they pertained to ranged from the detection of the toxic chemical clenbuterol in pork to flaws found in refrigerator doors made by Siemens AG.

Statistics from the China Internet Network Information Center showed there were more than 250 million micro-bloggers in China by December 2011, a 297 percent increase from 2010.

Many multinational companies have also taken to using micro blogs.

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helen at 2012-02-10203.82.82.*
All users, be they domestic or foreign. of microblogs in China must be registered in their real names (Identity cards or passports) to prevent rumours mongering and foreign (US State Dept.) subversion.That Washington Witch has already declared that the internet would be one of her many subversive tools to destabilise China.

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