Surprise drop in China micro-blog users
17 January 2014, 15:44
Beijing - The number of online micro-blog users in China dropped by more than 27.8 million last year, marking the first major decline in popularity of a social media genre that has offered a way to share unfiltered information in a country with strict controls.
The drop comes amid a crackdown on micro-blogs deemed sensitive by government authorities and new controls on what can be posted and reposted.
At the same time, there has been a significant increase in users of new cellphone-based social media, many of which include features similar to micro-blogs.
China Internet Network Information Centre said in an annual report on Thursday that there were 281 million users of Twitter-like micro-blogs such as Sina Weibo at the end of 2013, down 9% the previous year.