Canada's Beijing embassy dabbles in 'weiplomacy'
Employees work at their desks at a Sina Weibo office in Beijing on Aug. 1, 2012. (AP / Alexander F. Yuan)
Published Sunday, August 5, 2012 10:28AM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, August 5, 2012 11:47AM EDT
Diplomats in all parts of Canada's Beijing embassy are being encouraged to learn how to use China's version of Twitter.
The embassy launched a "weibo" microblog account on Chinese Internet portal Sina.com in June 2011.
But internal Foreign Affairs documents show that not all Canadian diplomats rushed to type out 140-Chinese character updates when the account went up.
Memos show that workshops were held to "demystify" tweeting so it wouldn't be seen as a chore for diplomats.
The weibo documents highlight the power of microblogging to let embassy staff stickhandle around state media controls for access allowing them to "take the pulse" of web-savvy Chinese citizens.
The embassy account currently posts several updates a day to more than 231,000 followers.