11/01/2012 02:11 EDT | Updated 11/01/2012 07:26 EDT

Gregor Robertson Sets Up Sina Weibo Account As Vancouver Mayor

Flickr: Vancouver 125

Vancouver's mayor is going all out on social by joining Sina Weibo, the largest Chinese-language social network in the world.

Mayor Gregor Robertson launched his Sina Weibo account on Thursday, becoming one of the first high-profile Canadian politicians to use the popular micro-blogging service, said his office in a news release.

Sina Weibo boasts more than 360 million users.

Robertson said using Sina Weibo is a way to engage with Vancouver residents who use the Internet in both Chinese and English.

“It also enables better communication with the larger Chinese-speaking world, advancing Vancouver’s goals to become the greenest city by 2020, grow as a more welcoming and inclusive place for newcomers, and attract new jobs and investment to the region," he said.

Last week, Statistics Canada showed that Chinese languages (Cantonese and Mandarin) are spoken in the homes of almost 300,000 people in Metro Vancouver.

Robertson's account is being managed via the new "Hootsuite-enabled Sina Weibo app" which allows him to share his postings between his English Twitter -- @MayorGregorand @VanMayorsOffice -- and Instagram (@VanMayorsOffice) and Facebook accounts. (Note: that's also a plug for Vancouver-based Hootsuite.)

In one of his first messages on Sina Weibo, Robertson thanked his Chinese assistant who is helping him translate his messages. He also promised to work harder to improve his Chinese.

In its first 24 hours, Robertson's Sina Weibo account attracted 13,000 new followers.

Tourism Vancouver, the Canadian Embassy in Beijing and the office of London Mayor Boris Johnson in the United Kingdom, are all active users of Sina Weibo, said Robertson's office.