The China Daily gets Twitter.
Just not in China.
With more than 100,000 followers, the paper has leveraged Twitter in the United States as another distribution channel for its stories.
I say distribution channel because it’s all one-way communication with zero engagement. Click on any link and you’re ushered to the publication’s English website.
It is kind of amusing that the China Daily, part of the Chinese Government’s State Council Information Office, uses Twitter in the United States.
Even though the Government blocks Twitter in China, tweeting still takes place, raising the philosophical question –
If a Tweet falls in a Chinese forest, and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?
The answer is yes … if the person has a VPN.
By paying roughly 15 bucks a month for a VPN – technically illegal but offered from companies in Russia, Thailand and the list goes on – you can access Twitter and other Western sites from within China.
Check out the tweets of one of the more controversial Twitter accounts based in China.
Not exactly scintillating storytelling on the surface.
Until you realize the numbers reflect hourly updates on the air quality in Beijing tweeted out compliments of the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.
Further spicing up the narrative, the readings from the U.S. Embassy often clash with the numbers released by the Chinese Government.
As a result, periodic dust-ups with the authorities surface, like the most recent one a couple weeks ago.
To come full circle, the China Daily weighed in on the topic with a “slightly different” take.
All because of tweets in China which technically can’t be read.