Ahead of his visit to China next week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today made debut on Chinese social media platform 'Sina Weibo', becoming the first Indian leader to open an account on the popular miocroblog with over 500 million users to reach out to the Chinese people.
"Hello China! Looking forward to interacting with Chinese friends through Weibo," Modi wrote in his first post in Chinese language on the platform, which is akin to Twitter.
His account Connect with PM Narendra Modi has registered over 7,000 hits in the first hour after it was opened today with many welcoming his initiative to join the most popular interactive social media platform in China.
While one blogger praised him as handsome another greeted him saying welcome to weibo. "One more international personality joined Weibo," read one post.
Several international leaders including British Prime Minister David Cameron joined Weibo to step up interaction with Chinese people.
There was also a jarring note with comment by one user stating that Southern Tibet is part of China, which is Beijings official stand. China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of Southern Tibet.
Modi is expected to make his fist visit to China from May 14 to 16 as Prime Minister, though he was regular visitor to Beijing when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat. A social media savvy leader is well adept at making use of Twitter back home and he is expected to step his Chinese tweets more once his visit draw close.
Officials here expect that like elsewhere in the world, Modi's social media outreach in China was expected to enlarge and draw far bigger response. Sina Weibo has over over 500 million users and has become a competitor to official media in recent years especially in flashing news about accidents and natural disasters.