The Use of Weibo to Connect Chinese Communities in Australia by Australian Politicians

Ying Jiang


Weibo is a Chinese microblogging website; it is one of the most popular sites in

China. According to Oz Entertainment, Sina Weibo’s Australian business co-operator, there are around 500,000 Weibo users in Australia. What’s more interesting is that politicians across the three levels of government in Australia have also started joining Weibo.

Scholars began debating the practical importance of using social media for politics years ago; some of them believe the uniqueness of social media will certainly bring about success for politicians. Others believe that social media hasn’t brought significant changes and, additionally, has caused danger to some extent. Grant’s research on Australian politicians’ use of Twitter has found that those who tweet to converse appear to gain more political benefit from the platform than others. However, no current research examines the usefulness of Weibo by Australian politicians. Therefore, for those Australian politicians who have decided to embark on a Chinese social media platform, are they conversing or simply broadcasting themselves? Is the existence of Australian politicians’ Weibo accounts providing a more effective political discussion platform, and encouraging more active political engagement of Chinese communities? What benefits has Weibo brought to politicians in Australia? With these questions in mind, this paper conducts thefirst analysis on Australian politicians’ use of Weibo.

Based on the results collected from this research, this paper argues that Chinese

Weibo could be beneficial for the development of effective personal public relations by Australian politicians


Weibo; Australian politician; Chinese social media; cross - cultural communication

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Deakin University

ISSN - 1839-8227