Months after Twitter was blocked and Chinese Twitter clones Fanfou, Digu, and
Zuosa (apparently Zuosa is still alive) were felled by the mighty hand of the CCP censorship army, Internet portal Sina has started its own “microblogging service.”
From China Web2.0 Review:
Like Twitter, Sina Microblogging allows users to post short messages less than 140 Chinese characters, you can follow other users to get their updates, but Sina called followers as fans. You can send SMS or MMS to update messages after you set up your mobile phone. It also support hashtag # syntax for easily tracking topics. Users can also add an image to their message. Sina even provides official url shortener too, all url will be shorten as http://sinaurl.cn.
The biggest difference, they point out, is that the “@” and “Retweet” features of Twitter, which allow for the almost unstoppable dissemination of information, have been removed. In their places is a reply feature that’s more like regular blogs – it only shows up in the original thread, rather than on your feed.
Considering Twitter’s role in freeing jailed bloggers – thanks mostly to those very features Sina’s excluding – we say a pox on this venture. We’d rather just get all our Chinese friends onto VPNS and other methods of crossing the GFW, to tweet to their heart’s delight.