The Weibo Wisdom of Kai-fu Lee

Former Google China chief Kai-fu Lee is an enthusiastic weibo user, feeding his tens of millions of followers a steady stream of thoughts and advice on business, technology and society. Forbes contributor Shu-Ching Jean Chen has compiled some of Lee’s greatest hits:

Lee becomes the indisputable face of China Inc, as his online popularity soars: he tops the business hall of fame at both the two dominant Weibo service providers, Sina Corp and Tencent. His following of 33.5 million Weibo fans, mainly 20-something, mostly male, tech-savvy students in cities across China, is far larger than that of any other business leaders and nationwide is matched only by half a dozen entertainment celebrities. “Weibo is the most open communication channel in China. Sina and Tencent have enabled lots of Chinese share information through their services,” Lee says, a diligent blogger who posts more than five weibos in a typical day.

“Reposting weibos is a power, and responsibility. We spread messages, not rumors; observe, not follow blindly; be critical, without violating truth; straightforward, not foul-mouthed. You and I are not just visitors, but active participants. Let weibos be clear and warm, starting with ourselves” (October 25, 21:23, 2012).

“Differences between weibos and twitters:1) 70% of weibo users rely on weibos as main source of news; only 9% of Americans rely on social media as news sources. 2) Chinese users spend 24 minutes on average on weibos, twitter users spend 7 minutes” (September 3, 11:33, 2011).

See also Lee’s Tencent and Sina Weibo accounts.


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