Weibo, which means micro blog in Chinese, is a Chinese Twitter-like online networking tool. Hundreds of millions of netizens across China use Weibo as a platform to exchange information and voice opinions on social issues in a nation under strict news censorship. Sina Weibo is currently the largest social networking website in China with 368 million registered users as of June 2012.
Weibo user demands apartment for account name
Although China’s internet giant Sina Corporation’s microblogging services were reported to have lost a total of US$93 million (584 million yuan) last year, its users are trying hard to make a profit from the popular online community.
When the managers of Wanke Park Avenue Real Estate Development Company turned to Sina Weibo to promote a recently launched project, they found their chosen account name was already registered and in use. The owner of the account name said he would relinquish it in return for a two-bed apartment, Liaoning Daily reported on Friday.
It appeared that the account owner had planned the whole thing from the start. The first post by the account owner published in January said just what an official developer’s account would say: “Welcome to the grand opening of the marketing centre…” But the following post displayed, “…have registered this name for you. I am willing to give up whenever you need.” The account owner even associated the post to another user whose profile indicated he was the development company’s media manager.
Wanke’s marketing staff acknowledged the company was in talks with the account’s current operator and even admitted that a discount on an apartment had been offered, the report said. The company was hoping the matter could be resolved but was not prepared to give the account owner an apartment,” staff told the Liaoning Daily.