The Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) will actively engage one of the world’s largest – and most pivotal – populations through the Sina Weibo Chinese social networking site that reaches over 500 million users each day.
The GRASP site will post daily updates, news stories, photographs, graphics and reports related to the conservation of chimpanzees, gorillas, orang-utans and bonobos in Africa and Asia.
Weibo – which means “microblog” in Chinese – was launched in 2009, and records approximately 100 million daily message posts.
“GRASP places an emphasis upon communication and outreach, and we are pleased to be able to communicate directly now with Chinese audiences,” said Doug Cress, programme coordinator of GRASP. “China can play an important role in addressing many of the conservation crises facing great apes, and we look forward to building this community.”
Traditional social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter are banned in China, but Weibo – which is modeled on Twitter – is one of the most popular sites in China and dominates over 56 percent of the country’s microblogging market. It is estimated that over 30 percent of all Chinese internet users access Weibo.
According to GRASP, Weibo is also extremely popular among Chinese celebrities, movie stars, singers and business executives, reaches audiences in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Macau.
GRASP seeks to communicate directly with the Chinese and share unique content that will enable them to learn more about the conservation of great apes through the platform. GRASP hopes China could play an active and constructive role in promoting biodiversity conservation.