Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has kicked off his second year in Hong Kong's top office by launching a Sina Weibo account amid flagging approval ratings and increased public dissatisfaction.
The account, on China's largest microblogging platform, features a profile picture of Leung and a yellow “V” next to the Chinese characters of his name, indicating the account has been verified by Sina.
[Update: The account was shut down on Wednesday, a day after its launch.]
Despite inactivity – no posts have been made nor is the CE following anyone – the account had more than 68,733 followers by Tuesday morning.
The Office of the Chief Executive did not respond to a Post request for confirmation on Tuesday morning.
Leung created an account on rival microblogging platform Tencent Weibo last year while campaigning for the position of chief executive against Henry Tang Ying-yen and Albert Ho Chun-yan. That account now appears to be abandoned.
His last post on March 25, 2012, the day he was declared the territory’s new leader, read: “I believe with ‘unity’, Hong Kong will succeed.”
Whether the Sina account will benefit Leung remains to be seen.
Hundreds of thousands of frustrated residents took to the streets on Monday for the annual July 1 march. Many demanded Leung’s resignation and universal suffrage for the 2017 chief executive election, even after Leung promised to “listen carefully and respond proactively to people’s demands, including those on political reform, universal suffrage, and those relating to social and economic issues”.
Leung’s net approval rating with Hongkongers hit a record low last month, according to a public opinion poll by the University of Hong Kong. Only 27 per cent of 1,040 interviewees polled backed Leung as chief executive, versus 55 per cent who cast a vote of no confidence, HKU found.