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Microblog writing test stumps applicants for job

By Xu Chi (Shanghai Daily)

08:42, July 25, 2012

WHEN a writing sample for a microblog was included as part of a test for those applying to be government officials at a county in Zhejiang Province, results showed about 60 percent didn't have basic knowledge of the platform.

The 310 applicants were asked to write a sample microblog to promote a festival as part of an exam on Monday to be selected as government officials at Tiantai County of Taizhou City, Shanghai Evening News reported.

But about 60 percent of them didn't know that they could write no more than 140 Chinese characters, the usual limit for microblog platforms and some wrote more than 300.

Three applicants got zero score as they didn't know how to write a microblog.

The exam organizers said they added the writing section to the test because the microblog is playing an important role in government affairs, allowing services to be provided to the public more easily.

Li Sendi, an official with Tiantai government, told the newspaper that microblogs should be used as a vital tool for the government to communicate, so government officials have to know the platform and use them wisely.

The Shanghai government's Information Office announced in April that more than 400 city government offices and institutions have opened microblog accounts to publicize issues and communicate with more than 11 million followers.

More than 800 microblog accounts have been opened by municipal departments, including those of the city government, the Public Security Bureau, Shanghai Commercial and Industrial Administration and district governments.

In Chongqing City, over 600 microblog accounts have been opened by government departments, while the number was only 200 by the end of last year, the newspaper said.

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