Weibo

sina weibo

Weibo is the Chinese word for ‘microblog.’ It usually refers to one or all of the Twitter-like, China-based microblogging services, or one’s account at these services. Among the weibo services, Sina Weibo is the most visited one. Sina has used the domain name weibo.com for the service since 2011. Sometimes, the own published news of Sina.com and some other media use directly ‘Weibo’ to refer to Sina Weibo. However generally, when mentioning ‘Weibo,’ it may refer to one or all of the China-based microblogging services. After the 2009 Urumqi riots, China shut down most of the domestic weibo services, and many popular non China-based microblogging services like Twitter, Facebook, and Plurk have been blocked since then.

This led to the creation of services like Sina Weibo, operated by large Chinese Internet companies under the government’s control. Due to the Internet censorship in China, all of the China-based weibo services today is now controlled by various self-censorship policies and methods. They usually have blacklisted keywords list to be automatically checked, sometimes administrators check manually. Posts on sensitive topics forbidden in China (e.g. Human right, Liu Xiaobo) will be deleted and the user’s account may be blocked. However, compared to other Chinese media formats, weibo services are considered freer. Weibos are thought as influential tools that impact and change China. Some scandals and controversies such as Li Gang incident are made known to the public through weibos.

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