Top Chinese leader’s ‘fan microblog’ triggers curiosity

Beijing, Feb 6: News coverage of China’s leaders has long been regarded as being exclusive to official media. However, a personal microblog account of a “fan” that has exclusive photos and news on next president Xi Jinping has made the public curious.

The personal microblog is on Sina Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, Xinhua reported.

“What’s going on? Why is it quicker and closer than we are,” national broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) wrote on Sina Weibo.

Netizens have become increasingly curious about the blog “Xuexifensituan” (“Learning From Xi Fan Club”), which covers the latest moves by Xi.

Entries on the blog feature brief phrases like “he’s returned to the hotel” describing Xi’s whereabouts.

The posts are exclusive and always come ahead of reports from official media.

There are also rare first-hand pictures including shots of Xi dozing in a van or photos taken by a shaky camera while Xi walks through a crowd of people.

The microblogger refers to Xi as “Xi Dada”, a term that translates as “Uncle Xi” in some parts of China.

The blog has attracted nearly 500,000 followers since going online in November 2012.

It does not feature a “V” emblem, that indicates that the blog owner’s identity has been verified by Sina Weibo.

The only clues are profile details stating that the blog’s owner is a woman from northwest Shaanxi province.

The blog is suspected to be maintained by someone very close to Xi.

An entry on Xi’s inspection tour in northwest Gansu province said the plane had arrived but that Xi himself was not on it because he had changed his scheduled route.

“Who on earth is the blogger? Is it a bodyguard of Xi, or is it Xi himself,” asked Weibo user “Shuijierlovemaomao”.

The blog’s owner has so far denied claims that he or she is close to Xi.

“I am just an ordinary office worker, not a CPC member, nor an official,” said an entry on the blog.

It said the information and pictures were collected online or contributed by other people.

IANS