New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided to quit Chinese social media app Weibo, a platform he joined in 2015 to better connect with the people of China.
Well-placed government sources told ThePrint that Modi decided to quit the microblogging platform after the announcement of the ban on 59 Chinese apps, including TikTok and UC Browser, on 29 June.
However, the sources said the process of quitting Weibo is not easy for high-profile individuals, and the process has been delayed at the Chinese end.
“For VIP accounts, Weibo has a more complex procedure to quit, which is why the official process was initiated. For reasons best known to the Chinese, there was great delay in granting this basic permission,” a source said.
After the 59-app ban was announced, angry Weibo users had left negative comments on Modi’s latest post, which was a new year’s greeting.
Two posts with Xi took time to delete
Even after the ban was announced Monday, Modi’s Weibo account still showed posts, including those featuring Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The source quoted above said: “PM Modi had 115 posts on Weibo. It was decided to manually delete them, and after much effort, 113 posts were removed. The two left were posts with the PM’s photos with President Xi. On Weibo, it is difficult to remove posts with the photo of their President. Which is why, two posts still remained.”
However, now, the account no longer has any posts available to view, even though the follower count of over 2 lakh is still visible.
“Now, all the posts have gone. The follower count stands at over 244,000, roughly the same as when the deletion of posts began,” the source said.