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Sina Weibo

Sina Weibo
Web address .comweibo
Commercial? Yes
Type of site microblogging
Available in Simplified Chinese
Traditional Chinese
Owner SINA Corporation (operated by Weibo Corporation)
Launched 14 August 2009 (2009-08-14)[1]
Alexa rank Steady 16 (April 2014)[2]
Current status Active
Sina Weibo
Chinese 新浪微博
Literal meaning Sina Microblog

Sina Weibo (NASDAQ: WB) is a Chinese microblogging (weibo) website. Akin to a hybrid of Twitter and Facebook, it is one of the most popular sites in China, in use by well over 30% of Internet users, with a market penetration similar to the United States' Twitter.[3] It was launched by SINA Corporation on 14 August 2009,[1] and has 503 million registered users as of December 2012.[4] About 100 million messages are posted each day on Sina Weibo.[5]

In March 2014, Sina Corporation announced a spinoff of Weibo as a separate entity and filed an IPO under the symbol WB.[6] Sina retains 56.9% ownership in Weibo.[7] The company began trading publicly on April 17, 2014.[8]


  • Name 1
  • History 2
    • Ownership 2.1
  • Users 3
  • Features 4
    • Verification 4.1
    • Clients 4.2
    • International versions 4.3
    • Other services 4.4
  • Censorship 5
  • Promotions 6
    • Livery Airplane 6.1
    • Villarreal CF 6.2
  • Statistics 7
    • Most popular accounts 7.1
    • Record messages 7.2
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10


"Weibo" (微博) is the Chinese word for "microblog". Sina Weibo launched its new domain name on 7 April 2011, deactivating and redirecting from the old domain, to the new one. Due to its popularity, the media sometimes directly uses "Weibo" to refer to Sina Weibo. However, there are other Chinese microblogging/weibo services including Tencent Weibo, Sohu Weibo and NetEase Weibo.


After the July 2009 Ürümqi riots, China shut down most of the domestic microblogging services including the first weibo service Fanfou. Many popular non China-based microblogging services like Twitter, Facebook, and Plurk have been blocked from viewing since then. It was considered to be an opportunity to Sina's CEO Charles Chao.[9][10] SINA Corporation launched the tested version of Sina Weibo on 14 August 2009. Basic functions including message, private message, comment and re-post were made possible in September 2009. A Sina Weibo-compatible API platform for developing third-party applications was launched on 28 July 2010.[1]

On 1 December 2010, the website experienced an outage, administrators later said it was due to the increasing numbers of users and posts.[11] Registered users surpassed 100 million before March 2011.[12] Since 23 March 2011, has been used as Sina Weibo's official URL shortening domain name in lieu of On 7 April 2011, replaced to be the new domain used by the website. Meanwhile, the official logo was also updated.[13] In June, Sina announced an English-language version of Sina Weibo would be developed and launched, where the contents would still be controlled by Chinese law.[14]


On 9 April 2013, Alibaba Group announced that it will acquire 18 percent of Sina Weibo for $586 million with an option to buy up to 30 percent in the future.[15] When SIna Weibo went to Nasdaq, Alibaba executed the option. Now Alibaba owns 32 percent of Sina Weibo.[16]


According to

  • Official website (Chinese)
  • Other versions of Sina Weibo: Traditional character, Taiwanese, Hongkongese,Italian(Unofficial)
  • Official clients for various platforms: Android phones, Android tablets, Blackberry, iPhone & iPod touch, iPad, Symbian S60, Windows Mobile & Windows Phone 7 devices
  • Uncensored version of Sina Weibo Search including posts that have been deleted by Sina: FreeWeibo
  • English article written about Sina Weibo

External links

  1. ^ a b c "Special: Micro blog's macro impact". Michelle and Uking (China Daily). 2 March 2011. Retrieved 26 October 2011. 
  2. ^ " Site Info".  
  3. ^ Rapoza, Kenneth (17 May 2011). "China’s Weibos vs US’s Twitter: And the Winner Is?".  
  4. ^ Josh Ong (2013-02-21). "China’s Sina Weibo grew 73% in 2012, passing 500 million registered accounts". Retrieved 2013-05-21. 
  5. ^ Cao, Belinda (28 February 2012). "Sina's Weibo Outlook Buoys Internet Stock Gains: China Overnight". Bloomberg. 
  6. ^ AFP (2014-03-15). "Sina Weibo, 'China's Twitter,' files for IPO".  
  7. ^ Joe Cornell (2014-04-14). "'"Spin-Offs In The Spotlight: The 'Spin-Cycle.  
  8. ^ Patrick M. Sheridan (2014-04-17). "Weibo IPO leads Chinese stock invasion".  
  9. ^ a b c "Charles Chao - The 2011 TIME 100". Austin Ramzy (TIME). 21 April 2011. Retrieved 26 October 2011. 
  10. ^ a b "Sina Weibo". Gady Epstein ( 
  11. ^ 新浪微博恢复访问 发布故障致歉声明 (in Chinese). Sina Tech. 1 December 2011. Retrieved 26 October 2011. 
  12. ^ 新浪发布2010年四季及全年财报 微博用户数过亿 (in Chinese). Sina Tech. 2 March 2011. Retrieved 26 October 2011. 
  13. ^ "新浪微博今日启用weibo.com域名 同步更换标识". Sina Tech (in Chinese). 7 April 2011. Retrieved 26 October 2011. 
  14. ^ Owen Fletcher (9 June 2011). "新浪英文微博 挑战Twitter?". WSJ (in Chinese). Retrieved 26 October 2011. 
  15. ^ Kang, Xiaoxiao (May 3, 2013). "Alibaba buys into Sina Weibo with $586 mln". Morning Whistle. Retrieved 2013-05-10. 
  16. ^ Russell Flannery (May 7, 2014). "As Alibaba Basked In Attention, Shares In Its Social Media Arm Weibo Tanked Yesterday". Forbes. Retrieved 2014-09-16. 
  17. ^ "Sina Commands 56% of China’s Microblog Market". Kyle.  
  18. ^ MarketWatch, Caixin Online, Sina's microblogging power, 4 July 2010
  19. ^ a b "Weibo Microblogs – A Western format with new Chinese implications". Thinking Chinese. Retrieved 26 October 2011. 
  20. ^ Erenlai, Microblogs with Macro Reach: Spirituality Online In China, 31 October 2011
  21. ^ Kevin Rudd joins Weibo, attracts 100,000 followers within three days, 23 April 2012
  22. ^ Get Connected: Why Are Foreign Dignitaries Increasingly Turning to Weibo?, 23 May 2012
  23. ^ (Chinese) 东芝泰格新浪官方微博正式开通 - Official opening of Toshiba's Sina Weibo account Toshiba China Official site
  24. ^ Germany Football Team,
  25. ^ 微博桌面2012 新浪微博-随时随地分享身边的新鲜事儿. (2013-07-01). Retrieved on 2013-08-09.
  26. ^ Sina Segmenting Weibo Usage with Multiple Versions.China Internet Watch. Apr.17.2013
  27. ^ "Geosentric Oyj Signs Agreement to Create Joint Venture with Sina Corporation". Reuters. 27 June 2011. Retrieved 1 June 2013. 
  28. ^ "China's Sina to step-up censorship of Weibo". Reuters. 19 September 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  29. ^ "Beijing's Weibo Conundrum". The Wall Street Journal. 21 September 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  30. ^ "新浪微博搜索禁词". China Digital Times. 7 July 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  31. ^ "Radiohead enters censored world of Chinese social media". Global Post. 3 July 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  32. ^ Zhu, Tao; Phipps, Pridgen, Crandall, Wallach. "The Velocity of Censorship: High-Fidelity Detection of Microblog Post Deletions".  
  33. ^ "著名艺术家艾未未挑战新浪微博的网络审查".  
  34. ^ "遭勒令刪去內地微博文章 撐維權爸爸 貼文抱不平 梁詠琪被河蟹了".   Video News
  35. ^ "Adrian Rauchfleisch/Mike S. Schäfer: Multiple Public Spheres of Weibo. a typology of forms and potentials of online public spheres in China". [Information, Communication & Society (DOI: 10.1080/1369118X.2014.940364)]. 24 July 2014. Retrieved 3 Sep 2014. 
  36. ^ The Wenzhou Crash and the Future of Weibo, Penn Olson - The Asian Tech Catalog, 1 August 2011
  37. ^ "China's Sina Weibo microblog nears identity deadline". BBC News. 12 March 2012. 
  38. ^ Johnson, Ian (31 March 2012). "Coup Rumors Spur China to Hem in Social Networking Sites". The New York Times. 
  39. ^ "China: Microblog Commenting Restored". The New York Times. 4 April 2012. 
  40. ^ New restrictions on blogging site. (2012-05-29). Retrieved on 2013-08-09.
  41. ^ Twitter / jniccolai: Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo. Retrieved on 2013-08-09.
  42. ^ "'"Censored in China: ‘Today,' ‘Tonight' and ‘Big Yellow Duck. The New York Times. 4 June 2013. 
  43. ^ Twitter / RichardBuangan: Chinese netizens 1, Chinese. Retrieved on 2013-08-09.
  44. ^ "新浪微博号彩绘飞机亮相". 
  45. ^ "Villarreal Features Sina Weibo Sponsorship Against Barcelona". 
  46. ^ 风云人气榜-风云榜-新浪微博 (in 中文). 26 July 2014. Retrieved 26 July 2014. 
  47. ^ 文章道歉声明刷新微博互动记录 (in 中文). March 7, 2014. Retrieved 1 April 2014. 


Tencent Weibo

See also

On 13 September 2013, the unverified handle "veggieg" (widely believed to be Faye Wong) posted a message suggesting that she had divorced her husband. The message was commented and re-posted more than a million times in four hours. The record was broken on 31 March 2014 by Wen Zhang, who posted a long apology admitting extramarital affair when his wife Ma Yili was pregnant with their second child. This message was commented and re-posted more than 2.5 million times in 10 hours. (Ma's response also generated 2.18 million responses in 12 hours.)[47]

Record messages

  1. Chen Kun (chenkun) - 73,187,051
  2. Yao Chen (yaochen) - 70,818,910
  3. Amy Cheung (iamamycheung) - 62,464,004
  4. Guo Degang (guodegang) - 59,266,397
  5. Zhao Wei (zhaowei) - 58,937,085
  6. Ruby Lin (linxinru) - 57,346,307
  7. Weibo's Android Client - 54,490,892
  8. Wen Zhang (wenzhang626) - 54,039,878
  9. Weibo's New User Guide - 53,103,081
  10. Xie Na (xiena) - 51,198,265

As of 26 July 2014,[46] the following ten individuals and organizations managed the most popular accounts (name handle in parentheses) and the number of followers:

Most popular accounts


In January 2012, Sina weibo also announced that they would be sponsoring Spanish football club Villarreal CF in its match with FC Barcelona, to increase its fanbase in China.[45]

Villarreal CF

On 8 June 2011, Tianjin Airlines unveiled an Embraer E-190 jet in special Sina Weibo livery and named it "Sina Weibo plane" (新浪微博号). It is the first commercial airplane to be named after a website in China.[44]

Livery Airplane


On June 4, 2013, Sina Weibo had blocked the terms "Today", "Tonight", "June 4", and "Big Yellow Duck". If these were searched, a message would appear stating that according to relevant laws, statutes and policies, the results of the search couldn't be shown. The censorship occurred because of a photoshopped version of Tank Man, which swapped all tanks with the sculpture Rubber Duck, had been circulating around Twitter.[42][43]

An example of Sina Weibo's censorship and manipulation of discussion or public social activity was the blocking of Foxconn workers' strikes in October 2012.[41]

In May 2012, Sina Weibo introduced new restrictions on the content its 300 million users can post.[40]

From March 31, 2012, the comment function of Sina Weibo was shut down for three days, along with Tencent QQ.[38][39]

On March 16, 2012, all the Beijing users of Sina Weibo were told to register with their real names.[37] Although the claim can be justified to avoid the contentious disinhibitions of anonymity, it has also been criticized, as it may deter users from posting negative comments about the government, for fear of retribution.

While Weibo services might not always be in favor of government officials, many Chinese officials opened Weibo accounts as to give their own version of events.[19]

However compared to other Chinese media formats, Weibo services are seen as allowing greater freedom of speech.[9][35] Criticism against the Chinese government is more widespread on Sina Weibo and other weibo services. After the July 2011 Wenzhou train collision, many dissatisfied posts concerning governmental corruption were posted throughout the Sina Weibo.[36]

On 9 March 2010, the posts by Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei at Sina Weibo to appeal for information on 2008 Sichuan earthquake going public were deleted and his account was closed by website's administrator. Attempts to register accounts with usernames alluding to Ai Weiwei were blocked.[33] On 30 March 2010, Hongkonger singer Gigi Leung blogged about the jailed Zhao Lianhai, an activist and father to a 2008 Chinese milk scandal victim. The post was later deleted by an administrator.[34]

Sina Weibo is believed to employ a distributed, heterogeneous strategy for censorship that has a great amount of defense-in-depth, which ranges from keyword list filtering to individual user monitoring. Nearly 30% of the total deletion events occur within 5–30 minutes, and nearly 90% of the deletions happen within the first 24 hours.[32]

In cooperation with internet censorship in China, Sina sets strict controls over the posts on its services.[28][29] Posts with links using some URL shortening services (including Google's, or containing blacklisted keywords,[30] are not allowed on Sina Weibo. Posts on politically sensitive topics are deleted after manual checking.[31]


Weilingdi (微领地) is another service bundled with Weibo that is similar to Foursquare, a location-based social networking website based on software for mobile devices, and which grew out of Sina's 2011 joint venture with GeoSentric's GyPSii.[27] Sina's Tuding (图钉) photo-sharing service, similar to Instagram, is also produced by the same joint venture. In addition, Sina Lady Weibo (新浪女性微博) is another service, which specializes in women's interests. Sina weibo have also recently released a desktop version of weibo, available for free download at its website.

Other services

Sina Weibo's official iPhone and iPad application have English language options.

For the Chinese version, you must be a Chinese citizen to use it. You will be asked to verify your identity either through a valid Chinese cellphone number or a valid Chinese citizen identification number.

Sina Weibo is available in both simplified and traditional Chinese characters. The site also has versions[26] catering to users from Hong Kong and Taiwan. Weibo is now developing its international version in English and other languages. On January 9, Sina Weibo created a partial English Version, most likely being a test run, but was soon taken down in a week.

International versions

Sina also released a desktop client for Microsoft Windows under the product name of Weibo Desktop.[25]

Sina produced mobile applications for various platforms to access Sina Weibo, the platforms include Android, Blackberry OS, iOS, Symbian S60, Windows Mobile and Windows Phone.


Sina Weibo has an identification policy. It's like Twitter's verified account which could verify the identity of famous person, organization and so on. Once a user gets through the verification on the internet, a colorful V will be added behind their username. An orange V is for people while a blue one is for organizations and companies. Also there will be a graph and a declaration on its user page to show the verification. There are several kinds of verifications: personal verification, college verification, organization verification, verification for official accounts (accounts of government departments, social media platforms and famous companies) weibo master (people bind the accounts with their phone numbers and their followers). When the number of microblogs reach the threshold, they can apply the verification of "weibo master".


Unregistered users can only browse a few posts by verified accounts. Neither unverified account pages nor comments to the posts by verified accounts are accessible to unregistered users.

Additionally, users are allowed to insert graphical emoticons or attach own image, music, video files in every post. Comments to a post can be shown as a list right below the post, the commenter can also choose whether to re-post the comment, quoting the whole original post, to commenter's own page.

Sina Weibo implements many features from Twitter. Users may post with a 140-character limit, mention or talk to other people using "@UserName" format, add hashtags with "#HashName#" format, follow other people to make his/her posts appear in users' own timeline, re-post with "//@UserName" similar to Twitter's retweet function "RT @UserName", put a post into the favorite list, verify the account if the user is a celebrity. URLs are automatically shortened using the domain name like Twitter's Official and third-party applications make users able to access Sina Weibo from other websites or platforms.


Sina executives invited and persuaded many Chinese celebrities to join the platform. The users of Sina Weibo include Asian celebrities, movie stars, singers, famous business and media figures, athletes, scholars, artists, organizations, religious figures, government departments and officials from Kevin Rudd,[21] Boris Johnson,[22] Toshiba,[23] and the German national football team.[24] Like Twitter, Sina Weibo has a verification program for known people and organizations. Once an account is verified, a verification badge is added beside the account name.


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