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Tell 'Chinese foreign affairs story' with new media

(People's Daily Online)

09:14, June 06, 2013

In recent years, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has attached great importance to the use of new media to carry out public diplomacy. As early as 1998, the ministry launched its official website. Since 2011, it registered microblog accounts in Sina, People's Daily Online and Tencent. With humorous language, it communicates and interacts with netizens, becoming a pioneer among government agencies in catching up with the new media application trend.

On May 7 this year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs once again tried a new platform to seek advice from netizens by launching its public Wechat account, which became the first official Wechat account of the state ministries.

WeChat (or Weixin in Chinese) is Tencent's over-the-top (OTT) content service. The free application is the most popular mobile application in China.

Zhu Xiaozhong from the Information Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, "In recent years, the rapid development of new media is incomparable. The ministry has already gained some experience in the use of new media through years of trying with microblog. The launch of account on Wechat platform is another attempt to promote public diplomacy. "

According to reports, the ministry will assign staff to collect information from its Wechat account. Currently, its regularly launched sections include: important diplomatic activities information; important speeches, articles of senior diplomats; embassies activities reports; consular assistance and diplomatic knowledge

Users of tablet PCs and mobile phones grow substantially in recent years.

"If we only publish information via the website, we cannot reach more users, so in the past two years, we have tried to enter the mobile Internet, not only had we register the official microblog account, but also launched app of Ministry of Foreign Affairs website on the New Year's Day this year. Internet users can get the information of the Ministry's website through their phone and iPad applications," Zhu said.

Read the Chinese version:首个中央部委试水政务微信 借新媒体讲述“中国外交故事”
Source: People's Daily
Reporters: He Lu and Zhu Weilu

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