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Leadership fan blogs emerge

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-02-20 22:07

The "Xianglixuexi" account later revealed some of the little boy's personal information and posted a photo of the boy and his family to wish netizens a happy new year.

"Xianglixuexi" crept into limelight behind "Xuexifensituan", the micro blog account on Xi Jinping's activities that has attracted almost 1 million followers since it was started in November.

Neither "Xuexifensituan" nor "Xianglixuexi" feature a "V" emblem given to micro blogs after Sina Weibo has verified the user's identity.

The only clues about the person behind "Xianglixuexi" can be found in the profile details -- she is a woman from Beijing.

In an interview with Beijing Times, the "Xianglixuexi" user chose not to reveal her identity, saying her background does not matter, but the public response to her micro blog does.

She said she started the account in response to people's expectations for the new leaders' governance styles. The "Xianglixuexi" user added that several new moves following the election of the new leadership, such as efforts to publicize their personal stories, have raised netizen's expectations for top leaders to open their own micro blogs.

She also asserted that her micro blog service had not been interrupted by authorities. "The very existence of my micro blog shows the ever-more transparent political environment today."

Similar micro blogs also include "Xizongfensituan" ("Fan Club of Boss Xi"), which alleged in one entry that Xi's daughter left Harvard to return to China for school, and "Qiangqiangfensituan" ("Fan Club of Qiangqiang," Li Keqiang's two-syllable nickname).

Experts say the popularity of the leadership fan micro blogs shows that the public expects a more transparent government.

Wang Yukai, a professor with the Chinese Academy of Governance, said he believes these micro blogs have sprung up because the new leadership's reform measures have prompted greater public interest in the leadership.

The emergence of fan clubs shows that the public approves of the new leadership, as well as their political ideas and reform measures, Wang said.

Furthermore, Wang said such micro blogs allow the public to get to know their leaders better and offer a more accessible, non-official channel for disclosing information that may be unsuitable for official news releases.

Zhang Zhi'an, an expert on new media analysis at Sun Yat-sen University, suggested such micro blogs be more prudent with their reports or reveal the sources of their information, as they have become influential social media tools.

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