A Billion Chinese Can Not Be Wrong
The website of the Israeli Embassy in China proves to be the most popular of all foreign embassies
The website of the Israeli Embassy in China on the Chinese social network (Wibu) is the most popular of all foreign embassies with 1.9 million followers. The US Embassy has only 1 million followers.
Foreign embassies in China do not understand how the Israeli embassy achieved this popularity.
The Wibu social media network has 600 million registered users of which around 300 million are active.
The Israeli Embassy in China has 1.9 million followers, in second place and very far behind the Israeli Embassy is the Canadian Embassy with 1.13 million followers with the US Embassy in China in third place with 1.035 million followers, almost half those of Israel. In fourth place is the Brazilian embassy with half a million followers, in fifth place is the Japanese embassy with less than half a million followers, followed by South Korea with 396,000, Cuba with 289,000, France was in ninth spot with 255,000, and the Russian embassy was in 10th place 167,000.
An article entitled “What’s new in Wibu” tried to analyze what makes the Israeli embassy in China so popular. The answer given is that in general Chinese citizens have a very positive attitude towards Israel. In addition, activities of the Embassy in Beijing and the Consulate General in Shanghai were widely appreciated. One of them was when the Shanghai Consulate published a video clip of hundreds of Israelis (including Prime Minister Netanyahu) holding up signs in Chinese thanking the Chinese people for the shelter they gave the Jews during World War II. After past Israeli president Shimon Peres passed away, half a million followers visited the embassy site and recorded their condolences hailing Peres as a great friend of China.
Several articles about the Israeli Embassy were published in the Chinese media and by several leading Chinese bloggers.
Among other things, the Israeli Embassy website offers, pictures of the Golan Heights, pictures of Tel Aviv at night, pictures of the Old City of Jerusalem, historical information about Israel, a list of the most popular names in Israel, an explanation of Chanukah and donuts, photos of extinguishing the fires that recently ravaged Israel, many posts on Israeli innovation, explanations regarding the operation of Shabbat elevators, explanations why Israeli cows produce the most milk per cow in the world, posts about the Israeli culinary scene, posts about Chinese bloggers visiting the country and more.
The site is meticulous in maintaining contact with its followers and also conducts award-winning campaigns, advertises sets of Dead Sea products, Israeli wine, magnets, tickets for Israeli cultural events and even airline tickets to Israel. Among other things, the site ran a quiz with questions such as how many Israeli cities the Chinese followers know, their favorite Israeli dishes, etc.
As part of the launch of the 10-year visa agreement between Israel and China last November, a number of participants were flown to Israel in an online campaign, in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism, El Al, Hainan and Dan Hotels. The embassy asked visitors to send videos explaining Israel. In response, hundreds of videos were received, from which four winners were chosen and provided with an air ticket and a stay in an Israeli hotel.