WEDNESDAY 9 JAN 2013 2:00 PM


Companies of all shapes and sizes, sectors and styles have opened offices in the Far East, promoted their goods to this exploding market or engaged with Asian audiences online. Weibo, the Chinese response to sites like Facebook and Twitter, has just made that a bit easier.

With 400-million registered users, Weibo can expect a few more after today’s announcement that it has launched a partial English interface. If Twitter is a must-do for brands in Western countries, Weibo is the equivalent in China. Its users are young, forward-minded and engage with brands and celebrities already on the microblog.

Though marketeers have been attempting to access China's consumers through the vibrant social media network, the ease of an English interface may be the answer they have been looking for.

Ben Hui is the managing director of Language Brand Communication, a company which specialises in the transitioning of British brands' communications into the Chinese social media space.

He says, “With over 400 million registered users, Western companies and communicators can't afford to ignore the power of Weibo. Many businesses are using integrated Chinese social media platforms for recruitment and customer service as well as marketing. An English interface will certainly make Weibo more accessible, but even more important is the language, whether English or Mandarin, that brands use to communicate with Chinese consumers. Get it right and your online credibility could rocket. Get it wrong and you'll be wishing you'd kept quiet."

To read more about Weibo and Language, click here.