Apple chief executive Tim Cook has joined Sina Corp.’s Weibo, a Chinese microblogging service similar to Twitter, TechCrunch reported.
The move shows the importance of the Chinese smartphone market to Apple, which is a market leader.
The social network has about 200 million active users each month, and Cook’s verified account on Weibo soared to 320,000 followers Monday, the day he joined.
The timing of Cook’s decision to take part in Chinese social media is not coincidental, the report said.
Apple announced Monday plans to expand its renewable paper and energy initiatives in China.
The company said it would be partnering with the World Wildlife Fund to protect forests used in the production of paper packaging for Apple items, and it would increase its use of renewable energy in its factories in China.
This announcement was also the subject of Cook’s first post on Weibo, which read, “Happy to be back in Beijing, announcing innovative new environmental programs”. It includes a link to the press release.
The post, so far Cook’s only one, has received more than 39,000 comments and more than 50,000 likes.
Cook also has an account on US-based Twitter, where he has 1.1 million followers.
But Twitter and Facebook are banned in China, which is why Apple decided to establish an official presence on one of the country’s biggest social networks instead.
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