Weibo, which means microblog
in Chinese, is a Chinese Twitter-like online networking tool. Hundreds of
millions of netizens across China use Weibo as a platform to exchange
information and voice opinions on social issues in a nation under strict news
censorship. Sina Weibo is currently the largest social networking website in
China with 368 million registered users as of June 2012.  

Businesspeople top Weibo microbloggers

list reveals most influential social media commentators – and their power
continues to rise with increased internet use on mainland


Mainland businesspeople are influential
not only in the country's commercial sector, but in cyberspace.

Weibo, which offers one of the most popular microblog services in China, has
released its list of the most influential microbloggers for last year – and
three of the top five were businessmen.

influence of these movers and shakers of social media is still on the rise; the
number of mainland internet users increased by 10 per cent last year, to 564
million people, according to the latest figures released by the government-run
China Internet Network Information Centre.The centre said the number of these
web surfers who access the internet through mobile phones, tablet computers and
other wireless devices rose by 18.1 per cent last year to 420 million.

Google China chief Kai-Fu Lee was Sina Weibo's most influential microblogger,
followed by the hosts of Hunan Satellite TV's entertainment show Happy Camp, He Jiong and Xie Na

property tycoon Ren Zhiqiang and angel investor Charles Xue Manzi rounded out
the top five spots.

and Ren, who voiced support for the outspoken Southern
during a row between
the newspaper's editorial staff and propaganda officials early this month,
appeared to have been warned by authorities to watch their words following the

their counterparts in Hong Kong and abroad, mainland entrepreneurs, especially
from non-state-owned companies, are more willing to speak out online about
social issues, and they have garnered a large number of fans: Li has 25.76
million followers on Sina Weibo, Xue has 9.9 million followers, while Ren and
Pan Shiyi, the property tycoon who runs Soho China, have around 13 million and
14 million followers respectively.

is also among the 10 most influential Sina Weibo users. Hong Kong writer Amy
Cheung Siu-han, mainland actress Yang Mi and Ashin, the lead vocalist of a
Taiwanese rock band, also made the top 10.

influence” is measured by a user's activity, the number of times his or
her username is mentioned by other users and how often other users make comments
on the user's posts, Sina Weibo said. It also depends on how many active
followers a person has.

services such as Sina's microblogging platform have been used by activists to
expose official wrongdoing, and the Communist Party has sought more control
over them.

are keener to discuss public issues in microblogs and are also willing to
listen to the opinion leaders such as Li,” said Hu Yong, a Peking
University professor and new-media critic.

Press, Bloomberg



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