London’s Mayor Has A Verified Sina Weibo Account, And It’s Hilarious

This is London mayor Boris Johnson’s official Sina Weibo account, which he (or, much more likely, someone on his staff) created last Friday to appeal to London-based Chinese users in the lead-up to the May 3 mayoral election. But for Sina Weibo to serve its purpose as a campaign tool, doesn’t that necessitate the Weibo operator being, you know, actually competent at Chinese social media? Because as Daily Dot’s Kevin Morris points out, “the mayor seems to be running on a campaign of confusion.” (He’s had some Twitter mishaps, too.) Writes Morris:

Whoever is in charge of the account (we’re assuming someone on his staff, and not Johnson himself) simply copies and pastes the @backboris2012 tweets verbatim to Weibo. This includes Twitter mentions and RTs to Twitter users who simply don’t exist on Weibo.

The operator also doesn’t seem to realize that Weibo allows more characters than Twitter, so there’s no need to cut off messages so suddenly: “RT JamesCleverly: BackBoris2012 to cut his share of council tax by 50% for Metropolitan Police Special Constables to reward their cont …”

China’s netizens — more than 75,000 of whom are following Mr. Johnson — are having some fun at his expense (that and expressing frustration at his English-only messages). To one of his many tweets that link to his campaign’s online store, one netizen replied, “thesoundofsilence.” On another of his posts, someone posted, quite simply, the two characters for “Lion King.” Another noted wryly, “The London mayor has come to China to campaign,” while others seem content to simply wish him luck.

As of 2 am Beijing time, here are Johnson’s 10 most recent Weibo posts, plus some select netizen reactions (please note that Weibo puts the most recent comments on top):

All times London — April 18, 5:52 pm (12:52 am next day local time): Thanks for your support & hard work! RT SeemaKennedy Using baby’s nap time to make calls for BackBoris2012 | 2 forwards, 5 comments

4:53 pm: isabellagornall you can find them at http://t.cn/zOOzf18 for just £1.50! | 1 forward, 3 replies

4:34 pm: jesuisrafe :) clearly we ought to be promoting them more! | 1 forward, 8 replies

山师法学院:尿性 (4月18日 23:53)  [Awesome/kick-ass (northeastern dialect slang)]

在虚城上:既然玩微博,市长先生请学中文。Are you understand? (4月18日 23:46)  [Since you're using Weibo, please write Chinese, Mister Mayor.]

亨特立伯爵:Because of the 2012 Olympic ,i think London will be devoloped better and better ! (4月18日 23:40)

INTER小SE狼:狮王 (4月18日 23:40)  [Lion King]

一起乐高清影视:我们应该促进他们更多? (4月18日 23:40)  [Should we promote them more?]

角度_China红:come on (4月18日 23:39)

帕内塔:你说啥啊 (4月18日 23:37)  [What are you saying?]

TJ张广庆[呵呵] (4月18日 23:35)

4:34 pm: jesuisrafe you can find the #backboris wristbands on our eShop for just £1.50: http://t.cn/zOOzf18 Thanks for your support! | 2 forwards, 2 comments

Ramona_Young:Okay, good luck.[呵呵] (今天 00:03)

4:34 pm: willpaul25 ChrisGilbertson you can find the #backboris wristbands on our eShop here: http://t.cn/zOOzf18 | 2 forwards, 2 comments

Ramona_Young:The wed in China cannot display.good luck. (今天 00:10)

青春的BLESS:thesoundofsilence… (4月18日 23:36)

4:13 pm: RT JamesCleverly: BackBoris2012 to cut his share of council tax by 50% for Metropolitan Police Special Constables to reward their cont … | 2 forwards, 8 comments

一起乐高清影视:回复@巴黎城下_左耳浅吟:剪掉他50%的分享税?警察控制?我不懂呢。。 (4月18日 23:23)  [Cut 50% of his benefits tax? Police control? I don't understand...] 

巴黎城下_左耳浅吟:回复@一起乐高清影视:求翻译,他说的什么啊, (4月18日 23:20)  [Please translate, what is he saying]

2:12 pm: Tomorrow is 2wks until election day & we’re working hard to get Boris’s #9pointplan out across London. Join us now: http://t.cn/zOOP7SX | 6 forwards, 8 comments

WuXingZhe-ShanDong-University:please!!!chinese!!! or you will be ignored“` (4月18日 22:56)

Old_Hippie:Go Go Boris. we support you. (4月18日 22:05)

VannChen:Come on,Boris! (4月18日 21:26)

Helena钱蓓儿—:London!!![奥特曼][奥特曼][奥特曼][心] (4月18日 21:26)

孑风[哈哈] (4月18日 21:19)

ProsepinaKor[转发] (4月18日 21:18)

爱学习的加菲猫:伦敦市长来中国拉票 (4月18日 21:17)  [The London mayor has come to China to campaign]

2:02 pm: Join Boris in the call centre this weekend – sign up now! http://t.cn/zOOvm4Q #BackBoris | 1 forward, 5 comments

扌戈乐儿:what reward? (4月18日 22:42)

1:23 pmRT PrernaSian: Come and help deliver Boris newspapers this Fri 7.30am outside Ilford Station ISConservatives Boris_Backer BackBoris2012 | 8 forwards, 9 comments

zjy126:回复@夏花飘絮:pictures please (4月18日 21:42)

不喜欢西红柿的玉米不是好土豆:I can’t understand this sentence.= = (4月18日 21:27)

夏花飘絮:回复@zjy126: “pics plz” 是什么啊? (4月18日 21:00)  [What does "pics plz" mean?]

zjy126:you need post more pics plz, that will attract more fans (4月18日 20:44)

1:03 pmRT Natasha_Howard: MayorofLondon promises to cut council tax for every Londoner by at least 10% – another reason to BackBoris2012 | 7 forwards, 9 comments

江-风月:London Mayor Levine Youngstown is not to say that the municipal tax increase of 7.2%? City Council rejected the motion, therefore, increased by 10% should not hope? Also how commitment? (4月18日 20:21)

茂林哥呃呃呃:你的reason真多! (4月18日 20:09)  [You have so many reasons!]

TheRain_S:来看看西方式民主。伦敦 (4月18日 20:05)  [Let's see Western-style democracy. London]

蒜的皮:Good, China should learn.. (4月18日 20:05)

Never change, Boris Johnson.

[H/T Kevin Collier]

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