Apple CEO, Tim Cook Joins Chinese Microblogging Website, Weibo, Looks To Broaden Its Market In China
Looks like the crowning of Apple as top smartphone seller displacing Xiaomi has spurred Tim Cook to increase personal presence in China
Cook, CEO of Apple joined Sina Corp.’s Weibo, a Chinese microblogging service similar to Twitter earlier this Monday. The move is an indication of the significance of the Chinese smartphone market to Apple. In other words, the Chinese Apple fans and others will now be able to view information and news about the company on one of China’s largest social networks.
As of today, the microblogging service has approximately 200 million active users each month. In addition, Tim Cook’s verified account on Weibo has risen to 320,000 followers as of this morning.
Cook’s decision to join the Chinese social media is not accidental. Apple has just announced huge plans to broaden its renewable paper and energy initiatives in China, one of today’s fastest-growing markets. The company said today that it would be collaborating with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to preserve forests utilized in the production of paper packaging for Apple items, and it would increase its use of renewable energy in its factories in China.
This formal statement was also the subject of Cook’s first post on Weibo, which read, “Happy to be back in Beijing, announcing innovative new environmental programs.” and linked to Apple’s press release about its environmental initiatives. Cook’s post, so far has received over 50,000 likes and over 39,000 comments (Weibo, which is similar to Twitter, also has some elements that have features in common with Facebook, as well.)
Twitter, a U.S. based microblogging service has 1.1. million followers that follow Cook’s account. However, since Facebook and Twitter both are legally prohibited in China, Apple chose to set up an official presence on one of China’s biggest social microblogging service instead.
For Apple, China remains to be an increasingly significant market. For example, during its second quarter, the company reported 71 percent revenue growth in the region, with China accounting for $16.8 billion of its revenues.
The report of Cook’s decision to be active on Chinese social media comes at a time when an IDC report showed that China’s smartphone market is slowing down. That means, 90% of the Chinese population already have a smartphone. In other words, Apple will now have to win over those customers who are looking to raise their standards in order to continue its growth in the region.