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Chinese model workers 'tweet' spirit of hard work

(Xinhua)

08:29, April 27, 2012

BEIJING, April 26 (Xinhua) -- China's national model workers are starting to use the power of the Internet to advocate the principle of hard work and the spirits of innovation, diligence and honesty to the country's more than 500 million Internet users.

On Thursday, over 200 national model workers and the winners of the International Labor Day medals opened accounts on Weibo, China's most popular Twitter-like microblog service.

The model workers were mobilized to open microblog accounts after being invited to attend a microblog-opening ceremony held by the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) on Thursday in Beijing.

Following some on-the-spot training, most of the model workers typed out their first microblog posts ever using cell phones and computers.

"Microblogs are now changing our lives," said Zuo Guangman, a national model worker from a power supply station in Hubei Province, "opening an microblog account is like opening a window or building a bridge between model workers and the others."

Guo Mingyi, honored as a man of great ethics, has accumulated over 8.79 million followers since he first opened his Weibo account nearly one year ago.

Over the past 16 years, Guo has used about half of his salary to sponsor the schooling of 180 children from needy families. He has also regularly donated blood over the past 20 years.

"The Internet and related application innovations are developing fast in China. This has broadened people's visions and channels of obtaining information," said Wang Yupu, vice president of the ACFTU.

"The mass of information and diversified value pursuits on the Internet are increasingly influencing people's thoughts and actions," Wang said.

Official data showed that China's Internet population currently stands at 513 million, and about 41 percent of netizens are working class people.

Microblogging services, like the Sina Weibo, Tencent Weibo and others, are playing a bigger role in China's Internet users as they use it both as a social networking platform and as a channel for news and other information.

Wang said that the federation hopes to use emerging media forms to correctly guide opinion and mobilize more model workers to take a part in social management via the new platforms.

Guo said at the ceremony that he will shoulder the social responsibility of educating the youth about respecting hard work, and he will continue to help those in need.

Guo told Xinhua that many people support him on Weibo not just because of his behavior, but because of people's pursuit of morality.

"Even though the Internet is a virtual world, it still needs morals to guide it. As more netizens are welcoming me, more of them will participate in good deeds in the future," said Guo.

The influence of the microblog of a well-known model worker cannot be underestimated. In February, Guo posted a message about a pregnant woman urgently needing a blood transfusion in the northeastern city of Anshan, and within 40 minutes of posting the information, a long queue of blood donors formed at the city's blood donation center.

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