Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, unveiled his official account on WeChat, China’s largest messaging app owned by Tencent, on Saturday.
Screenshot of Bill Gates’ WeChat account
In a 30-seconds video released on his WeChat account on February 11, Gates welcomed Chinese netizens to visit his official WeChat account in halting Mandarin and invited them to “join the conversation.” Gates also said this is his personal blog where he will “share about the people I meet, the books I’m reading, and what I’m learning.”
The video was viewed for over 25,000 times within the first 24 hours, and has received more than 7,000 views as of 10 am on Monday.
While WeChat is the largest mobile real-time massaging application in China, it is also a content platform where users can create their personal account or blog on the platform to share articles and videos.
Bill Gates founded Microsoft in 1975 and topped Forbes World’s Billionaires list for 13 consecutive years from 1995 to 2007, which makes him the most famous and respected entrepreneur among young people and entrepreneurs in China.
While Chinese WeChat users like to create blogs for their favorite foreign celebrities, it is uncommon for foreign celebrities to create their personal blogs on WeChat.
“Now that Bill Gates has entered China’s social media space himself and let his team to manage the contents, it shows that they are valuing the rising China’s content market,” one netizen remarked.
Besides the WeChat account, Sina Weibo, a Twitter-like microblogging platform in China, is also a popular platform among foreign public figures like Apple CEO Tim Cook and actors like Tom Cruise and Emma Watson to interact with their Chinese fans. In April 2016, famous cosmologist Stephen Hawking unveiled his Weibo account, attracting over a million followers within six hours.
Bill Gates also created his own Weibo account in early 2010, but, while the account attracted nearly 70,000 followers in the first 24 hours, it has not been updated since February 2016.