Twitter is doing something a little unconventional. The microblogging service is launching a Chinese language function, so users can tweet and read tweets in the language. This is surprising because since 2009, Twitter has been banned in China. The approach they're reported to be taking is one of “capture hearts and minds” approach in the hope to have the ban lifted. China already has an arguably successful microblog called Sina's Weibo, which surpassed the 100 million user mark before Twitter did. The service is not only popular within China, however. It is used extensively outside the country. This might dash Twitter's hopes of making it back into the Chinese government's good books.
Is the bird trying to fly back into China?
One way the Chinese language service might work for Twitter though, is to provide the function to people in countries outside China that still extensively interact in Chinese. Countries like Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong still have a good number of microbloggers that interact on the Internet in Chinese, however, even these users compiled together do not come close to the 485 million internet and mobile web users present in China.