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Ban Ki-moon launches UN WeChat account

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-06-14 20:23

BEIJING - The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched the organization's official WeChat account on Friday in a bid to boost the UN's social media presence in China, the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator in China announced.

The secretary-general launched the account from New York with a video message broadcast on WeChat and other social media platforms.

"I hope that this UN WeChat will enable many Chinese citizens to understand the latest news and information about what we are doing and why it matters," said Ban.

WeChat, a popular mobile social networking platform developed by Chinese IT company Tencent, offers voice messaging and information sharing services. According to company data released in January, WeChat has attracted 300 million registered users since its launch in 2011.

The UN launch comes before the secretary-general's four-day official visit to China from June 18 to 21. This will be his sixth visit to the country since his appointment in 2007.

The UN WeChat account will be managed by the UN Department of Public Information in New York and will share the organization's work with its subscribers. WeChat users can follow the account by searching ID "lianheguo" or scanning the QR code, according to the coordinator office in China.

From Friday, users can also join a Q&A session by submitting questions for the secretary-general through the UN WeChat account. Questions will be forwarded to Ban and his answers will be published on WeChat during his visit. The account will also update Ban's visit in China, added the office.

The office also said the official UN Weibo (China's Twitter-like microblogging platform) account will soon gain its four millionth follower. A certificate for this will be presented during the secretary-general's visit.

Data from the China Internet Networks Information Center showed that the country's online population had reached 564 million at the end of last year, with the number of mobile Internet users hitting 420 million.

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