Lifestyle & Belief

Kobe Bryant joins China's Twitter


A woman works online in her cubicle at an office in Beijing. China's homegrown social media sites like Sina Weibo are booming thanks to their better knowledge of the world's largest Internet market, and the censorship stifling foreign rivals like Facebook, Twitter, and Google-owned YouTube.



Kobe Bryant has joined China's version of Twitter.

Sina Weibo, the Chinese-language Twitter-like microblogging site, confirmed the American basketball star created an account on its popular site, the Associated Press reported.

The Los Angeles Laker scored more than 100,000 followers within a few hours of setting up the account on Thursday without even making a post.

China is the largest NBA market outside the United States, according to China Daily.

And Kobe Bryant, along with Lebron James and Michael Jordan, are household names in China.

"To Americans, it's probably shocking that Kobe was able to rack up over 130,000 followers on Weibo — a platform in a language he doesn't speak — in no time. But it just goes to show how large and enthusiastic the following for basketball is in China," says GlobalPost's senior correspondent in Hong Kong, Benjamin Carlson. "NBA mania is huge in China."

Bryant already has several fan pages on Weibo, the AP wrote, including one with more than 200,000 followers.

Bryant joins other celebrities from Tom Cruise to fellow basketball player Jeremy Lin who have opened accounts on the site, according to Vanity Fair.

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