Chinese authorities have given quicker responses and solved emergencies in more transparent ways over the past year, thanks to stronger microblogging services.
A report, released by People’s Daily and Sina Weibo on Jan 23, shows that 173,569 micro blogs have been verified posting government information and providing public services by the end of 2017, an increase of 9,047 over 2016.
The micro blogs covered all kinds of government sectors such as justice, medical care, transportation and city management, it added.
“The increased number and sectors covered are our steps to implement the central leadership’s requirement last year, which urges government departments to use new or social media platforms to post information, serve residents, respond to hot issues and improve the ability of governance,” said Fang Nan, director of the mobile and internet bureau with China’s Cyberspace Administration.
He said the micro blogs are playing a greater role in solving social problems and allow measures to be implemented faster after netizens’ reports are received.
On March 30, the environmental protection department in Shenyang, Liaoning province, informed a district-level department to take action within 10 minutes after a microblogger reported boilers in the downtown area were emitting pollution into the air.
Within five minutes, the district authority had responded to the microblogger, and within two hours, it posted its law enforcement process outlining how it had dealt with the problem.
“It’s not only an effective measure against air pollution, but also shows that authorities solved emergencies with more open minds and in more transparent ways,” said Zhu Huaxin, an author of the People’s Daily report.
As government departments at central and provincial levels interact with residents via their microblogging accounts, China’s Twitterlike platform is also being used by grassroots-level authorities, according to Zhu.
In 2017, several community committees, including Longtan in Beijing’s Dongcheng district and Leliu in Shunde, Guangdong province, opened micro blogs on Sina Weibo, sharing regional information and providing services to households, the report said.
“In addition, more government authorities are using the latest social media developments such as videos and livestreaming to introduce policies, which makes the government work clearer and easier for netizens to read and understand,” Zhu said.
The report said more than 1 million videos had been uploaded on government micro blogs.
While Zhu supported the use of micro blogs, he said government accounts should still focus on how to help residents solve problems and how to better supply services for them.
“Replies that are too emotional or entertaining must be banned on such public accounts,” he added.