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China to construct public opinion polling platform


10:14, March 01, 2013

BEIJING, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- China will build its largest-ever platform for conducting online public surveys, a senior researcher said Wednesday.

The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) will gather 600,000 volunteers to take part in the surveys over the next three years, with their opinions to be sent to policymakers in central government branches and local governments, according to Liu Zhiming, a senior CASS researcher in charge of the program.

Increasingly outspoken netizens are actively discussing every aspect of China from politics and economics to social issues, according to Liu.

Online opinions are critical for the Chinese government to make fair policies and maintain stability, said Liu.

The number of Internet users reached 564 million, or 43 percent of the country's population, by the end of 2012, according to figures released by the China Internet Networks Information Center.

Sina Weibo, China's biggest microblogging site, had over 500 million subscribers by the end of 2012, Sina Corp. announced on Feb. 20.

Netizens have accrued greater power in shaping society in recent years, using microblogs and other forms of new media to expose corrupt government officials and voice their opposition to government policies.

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