SHANGHAI, June 7 China's Sina Corp will
launch an English version of its microblog, Weibo, by the end of
the year for overseas users, a company spokesman said on
Sina's Chinese-language Weibo product was launched about two
years ago and claims more than 140 million users.
Technology blog TechWeb reported on Monday that Sina was
going to launch an English microblog in the United States in a
few months to rival Twitter. [ID:nL3E7H6233]
Access to Twitter from within China is blocked by the
Sina's spokesman Liu Qi said an English microblog was in the
works but its release was not catered to a particular market.
"We won't be launching it in one particular market, the idea
is to have the English version to cater to our many overseas
users," Liu told Reuters, adding that more than 10 percent of
Weibo's users are based overseas.
The English version will launch by the end of the year and
will be subject to Chinese regulations, Liu said.
China fears that unfettered access to the Internet would
spark instability that could undermine Communist Party rule.
Besides Twitter, China also blocks Facebook and YouTube because
the government is unable to monitor and censor content on those
Many Chinese companies offering similar social-networking
services such as Renren Inc's Renren Wang and Kaixin001
have sprung up. These Chinese sites actively police content and
censor material that could be deemed politically sensitive.
(Reporting by Melanie Lee; Editing by Ken Wills)