We all know Sina Weibo has a massive number of users, and over the past year as it has become clear to everyone that this really is a new sphere for public discussion and not just a passing fad, government bureaus have rushed to make their presence known on the social networking service. Police departments were among the first adopters, and now according to a recent report released by Sina, there are 50,947 different government entities with weibo accounts. That number is as of late September, though, so the actual number now is likely higher.
Although the number shows there is still a ways left to go before China’s bureaucracy has fully joined the information age, it also reveals things have been improving at breakneck speed. Indeed, the number of government weibo accounts has more than doubled since December of last year.
As of September, 33,132 of government weibo accounts represented government organs while 17,815 represented specific government officials. Departments and officials from every province are represented, but unsurprisingly the places with the most accounts are more developed areas like Beijing, Jiangsu, and Guangzhou. Public security, public health, and tourism departments are (unsurprisingly) among the most likely to have Weibo accounts.
It’s clear there is still plenty of room for growth, but it’s good to see local governments embracing communication and jumping onto weibo to interact with their constituents.