Sina Weibo’s top user hits 18 million fans as China enforces strict real-name microblogging policy

Chinese actress Yao Chen

As China’s strict new real-name policy on microblogging sites such as Sina Weibo came into effect, the platform’s most-followed user Yao Chen has become the first to reach 18 million followers.

The government policy was brought into effect on March 16 in an attempt to stop users from spreading “harmful” or false rumors while using a pseudonym but some users are concerned that enforcement will lead to further government censorship on social networking sites.

Chinese actress Yao Chen is the first Sina Weibo user to hit a total of just over 18 million followers. Her fan count is just shy of Twitter’s second most popular user Justin Bieber whose list of fans has grown to 18.57 million.

Lady Gaga, Twitter’s top microblogger, has raced past 21 million followers after hitting a record 20 million fans just weeks before.

This week Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez both reached out to their fans on Twitter to thank them for their support as they toured the world.

Taylor Swift tweeted, “Tonight we ended a 13 month tour. It was a beautiful trip around the world and I wouldn't trade those memories for anything. Thanks guys.” Selena Gomez posted a video on YouTube and tweeted, “It took me a while to get it up but, I wanted to send out a Thank You video to all cities/countries I visited.”

Third party estimates put Twitter at more than 500 million registered users. Sina reported that it had more than 300 million registered users on Sina Weibo in February 2012.

Most popular people on Twitter:

  1. Lady Gaga (21,042,894 followers)

  2. Justin Bieber (18,574,890)

  3. Katy Perry (16,235,613)

  4. Rihanna (15,136,322)

  5. Shakira (14,921,984)

  6. Britney Spears (14,261,168)

  7. Kim Kardashian (14,128,548)

  8. Barack Obama (13,084,879)

  9. Taylor Swift (11,756,340)

  10. Selena Gomez (10,969,110)

Most popular people on Sina's microblog (Weibo):

  1. Yao Chen (18,006,766 followers)

  2. Dee Hsu (17,412,257)

  3. Yang Mi (15,231,999)

  4. Xie Na (15,101,705)

  5. Kevin Tsai (14,720,573)

  6. Zhao Wei (14,480,905)

  7. Leehom Wang (14,390,159)

  8. He Jiong (14,101,954)

  9. Li Bingbing (13,061,076)

  10. Chen Kun (12,514,872)

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