Last week I had the opportunity to travel to Beijing and meet with several of the foundation’s partners from the Chinese Social Media for Social Good Alliance. Since the group first came together in 2011 the progress has been phenomenal, and this fall both Tencent and Sina are launching new and innovative campaigns demonstrating the huge power of social media to drive global change.
Tencent’s WeChat platform has over 500 million users worldwide, including 100 million outside of China. In October they announced a major new milestone – allowing WeChat users to make charitable donations direct from the platform and direct from their phones. This involved significant investment in a new online payment system, all with the goal of making it quicker and easier for WeChat users to donate to the causes that matter most to them. It’s a great example of using social media for good.
Continuing the trend, this month Sina announced a new campaign encouraging charitable giving via Sina Weibo. In the first phase of the campaign, celebrity Sina Weibo users are encouraging their followers to donate to a single charity that provides free lunches to elementary school students. Following this phase, Sina will be launching a “season of giving” encouraging donations to a variety of causes on Weibo – all with the goal of creating ongoing engagement around social good causes and the opportunity for users to learn, donate and find new ways to get engaged both online and off.
These are powerful online communities with huge potential to build awareness and create meaningful global change. The commitment of Chinese social media companies to using social media for social good continues to be unprecedented, and we look forward to following these campaigns’ progress in the months and years ahead.