Leonardo play weibo

Hollywood celebrities plays Weibo

By Kevin Wang(Target China)
22 Feb 2017

On the 12 of October 2016, Sina Weibo quietly ushered in a huge user- America’s pop music queen Madonna. Even though the account directly gained more than ten thousand fans within a extremely short time but due to it is a ‘zombie account’ meaning inactive account therefore it did not bring further influential activities. In compare to this, a huge user only activated Weibo 4 days before Madonna and simply greeted his China fans resulting the attraction of more than a million internet users within a day. This is Leonardo DiCaprio and this activation of his Weibo lead a trend of ‘Little Lee’s” facial emojis across the community.

In actuality, along with China’s film market being Hollywood’s largest target overseas market, more and more American film actress and celebrities activated their own Weibo account. A majority of the celebrities are to use Weibo for the purpose of promotion and advertisement of their film and works such as Emma Watson. Emma Watson activated her account of Weibo in 2011 which was during the Global promotion period of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”. The protagonist of “The Hobbit” Richard Armitage has also activated his Weibo account during the promotion of “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”.

Sina Weibo also invites American celebrities who obtain certain popularity in China to involve into Weibo through establish corporations with major Hollywood agencies. This year in June, Sina Weibo cooperated with the top agency CAA and released an “American idol month” as a major theme activity in Weibo. According to the Weibo’s official statistics, within 30 days a total of 22 American celebrities involved in this activity and 14 of them are newly activated accounts. Especially towards the protagonist of “Lord of the Rings” Orlando Bloom, Weibo was his first public social media account. Orlando Bloom not only made interaction with Wu Lei, advertises film and works also he likes the post of his official girlfriend Katy Perry on Weibo. During the activity, Jim Parsons from “The Big Bang Theory” also involved in Weibo interview with follower and fans.

However, a factor that may disappoint China’s community and internet users is that most of the Weibo account of American celebrities are been processed and secured by its China’s proxy agency or own public relation teams. Many of the celebrities Weibo account obtains an extremely low update frequency and only post certain messages in Chinese during promotion and advertising periods. This then leads them to a name of ‘zombie account’. In actuality, much irresistible objective reason causing the above phenomenon is that the language and culture have extreme differences and obtains difficulties in communication. Jim Parsons has described some of his difficulties while using Weibo in “Jimmy Feilun show”. He mentioned “to be able to access to some features, you will need to change the setting to Chinese and that is so horrible… at nowadays of you being so close to your phone, you suddenly don’t speak the same language.” This can be understood and this is usually the reasons why celebrities prefer to operate Weibo with other professional users to organise and these celebrities include Taylor Swift, Robert Downey JR and Nicole Kidman.

In fact, there are still Hollywood celebrities releasing posts focusing on China’s internet users and may even personally organise the account. For example, Lee Pace in “Hobbit” acting as the stunning Elven King Thranduil not only greeted the audiences with an actual Chinese character written by himself, maintaining his own content as selfie and videos but also likes his fans’ work on Weibo. Richard Armitage in “Hobbit” further ingratiates China’s fan culture and are claimed to be “uncle” in his description. His first few post in Weibo can be identified and notified of messages posted by himself with mainly the support of translating applications. Joseph·Gordon-Levitt also claims that all his Weibo messages are posted by himself with the help of translation by his friends.