China's Tencent launches English microblog service

Chinese Internet giant launches English version of its popular microblogging service in bid to tap global market and catch up to Twitter.

China's Tencent Holdings has launched an English language version of its microblogging service, Tencent Weibo, in a bid to tap the overseas market and narrow the gap with global competitor, Twitter.

According to a China Daily report Tuesday, the English version marks the first for the Chinese market. Twitter, the globally dominant microblogging service from the United States, is blocked in China although it does offer a Chinese language version of its service.

Tencent Weibo works similar to Twitter where users post messages of up to 140 characters.

Xing Hongyu, general manager of Tencent Weibo business unit, said in the report that the service will deliver a high-quality user experience with the company's 12 years of experience in Internet services.

The English version of its microblogging service will "enhance the company's influence globally", Xing said.

Microblogging, known as weibo, is widely popular in China and several local Twitter clones have emerged, including Sina Weibo. Sina, another Chinese Web giant, also said it was planning to launch an English version of Sina Weibo, according to media reports.

Tencent is most known for being China's largest instant messaging service provider, QQ.

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