Business / Technology

Government enhances presence on WeChat

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-08-22 17:10

BEIJING - Chinese government agencies are slowly turning mobile messaging application WeChat into a platform to interact with the people.

Subscribers to the news feeds of government accounts on WeChat can learn freshman orientation advice, government financial publicity details and even how to drive an automatic transmission vehicle.

Although WeChat's core function is instant messaging, other features such as photo-sharing, news feeds, online shopping and cab hailing have been added by its operator Tencent.

Government WeChat accounts have mushroomed in the past year, from 3,600 at the end of 2013 to nearly 6,000 at the end of March, according to a report released in July by the Communication University of China (CUC).

Tencent has ranked accounts operated by the government in terms of page views and likes. The Chinese central government, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Education were the top three on a weekly basis from Aug 11 to 15.

Tencent said the central government WeChat account had more than 22,000 page views on average, and the finance ministry has one article that has been read more than 100,000 times.

The CUC report listed several cases in which governments are using innovative measures to interact with netizens. For example, police in Shouguang county of Shandong province even issued an order for arrest on WeChat.

However, problems still remain in operation, such as prompt information disclosure, and interaction with netizens, the report said.

Peng Bo, deputy director of the State Internet Information Office, said earlier this month that China will increase government presence on WeChat in the second half of 2014, by setting performance goals to agencies.

Government enhances presence on WeChat Government enhances presence on WeChat
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