Ban on social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter in China has led athletes at the World Aquatic championship to register with the country’s home grown equivalents.
According to the Bangkok Post, International star athletes have opened their accounts on China’s social networking website Tencent to be welcomed by mass followers. Leading the trend is Britain’s star diver Tom Daley. Daley has around 343,000 followers on Tencent.
"He's obviously very smart - he found out how to use it and introduced the weibo [micro-blog] to Jack Laugher. If they want to promote themselves here in China, obviously it's the best way," stated Norman Li, an employee at Tencent. Laugher is Daley’s colleague and friend.
Daley had 10,000 followers on the first day he joined Tencent which is nearly thrice the number of followers he has on Twitter. Along with Daley, Stephanie Rice from Australia, Ryan Lochte from America and Natalie Coughlin and Michael Phelps are among other Tencent enthusiasts.
China, widely considered to be the future of tech market by technology giants, now boasts of nearly half a billion web users. A Chinese actor Yao Chen alone has five million followers on China’s Twitter, out pacing many of the big international names on Twitter.