SHANGHAI Nov 8 International Monetary Fund
chief Christine Lagarde has joined a growing panoply of Western
luminaries and celebrities such as Bill Gates and actress Emma
Watson on China's most popular microblogging platform, Weibo --
and received a warm response.
"Hello Sina weibo, looking forward to sharing updates here.
Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, IMF," Lagarde said in her
first message, written in English, on> on Monday. It was subsquently reposted nearly 1,400 times.
Sina's Corp's Weibo is similar to Twitter, allowing
users to post short messages of up to 140 characters and gain
followers, and users gave Lagarde a warm welcome.
China blocks popular foreign sites such as Facebook, YouTube
and Twitter, and uses filters and monitoring to block unwelcome
comment on domestic Internet sites.
"Thrilled. WB (Weibo) shortens the distance and bridges the
people around world," said one, writing in English.
Lagarde has garnered over 28,000 fans already. Gates, who
made his Weibo debut in September 2010, now has 2.1 million
followers while Harry Potter star Watson has attracted 510,000
fans since first her message in July 2011.
Weibo said it had verified these accounts as genuine.
China said last month it will intensify controls of online
social media and instant messaging tools that have become
popular channels for spreading news and opinion that can
unsettle the government.
Lagarde was in Moscow on Monday to urge the euro zone to
redouble efforts to overcome its sovereign debt crisis.