China‘s biggest microblog tops 200 million users

China‘s biggest microblog tops 200 million users


A popular social networking service used by Chinese people to vent their anger over a deadly July train crash now has more than 200 million users, owner Sina.com said Thursday. 

Users of Sina Weibo -- China's answer to Twitter -- sent millions of messages criticising the official response to the disaster, which killed 40 and forced the government to halt the expansion of its high-speed rail programme. 

It was credited for prodding China's state-run media into an unusually critical response to the disaster, accusing authorities of ignoring safety concerns in their rush to develop the world's biggest high-speed network. 

"Launched less than two years ago, Weibo.com has become an online phenomenon with registered accounts recently surpassing 200 million," Sina.com chief executive Charles Chao said in the company's second-quarter earnings statement. 

China -- which has the world's largest online population with 485 million users -- constantly strives to exert its control over the Internet, blocking content it deems politically sensitive as part of a vast censorship system.

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