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Social stories in China this week

The Chinese social media space is usually one of fierce competition. However, according to Li Hao, vice president of video site, “Internet companies are putting aside their differences and working together for social good.” Speaking to Kate James on-stage at the 2013 Social Good Summit, Hao described the encouraging degree of collaboration that is occurring between rival networks when it comes to promoting a worthy message.

Last year, teamed up with Chinese social network and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to launch their “Say No To Second Hand Smoking” campaign, complete with a PSA featuring Bill Gates himself, speaking in “imperfect” Mandarin. Says Hao: “The awareness of the key message, say no to forced smoking, increased from 5% to 25%”, and the video was played more than 600,000 times within a day of hitting the web.

With China boasting the world’s largest online population, Hao believes that it is only logical that Chinese platforms work together: “We can influence young people’s thinking and behaviour.”

This spirit of openness and collaboration extends, partially at least, to China’s Shanghai Free Trade Zone, which is unblocking use of global networks Facebook and Twitter and media sites such as The New York Times, in order to encourage foreign investment.

An unnamed source told The South China Morning Post: “In order to welcome foreign companies to invest and to let foreigners live and work happily in the free trade zone, we must think about how we can make them feel at home. If they can’t get onto Facebook or read The New York Times, they may naturally wonder how special the free trade zone is compared to the rest of China.”

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