First U.S. Police Department To Launch Weibo Account Will Urge Local Businesses To Create Their Own

Posted: Dec 29 2013, 3:46am CST | by , in News

 
First U.S. Police Department To Launch Weibo Account Will Urge Local Businesses To Create Their Own
Photo Credit: Forbes

Don't Miss: This How to find Fingerlings in Stock

A police department in southern California has started using Sina Corp.’s Weibo to get in touch with the growing number of its Chinese immigrants, and will approach local businesses to create their own accounts in the coming year, according to Alhambra Police Chief Mark Yokoyama.

The Alhambra Police Department is the first law enforcement agency in the nation to launch a Weibo account. Within three weeks, it has garnered over 5,800 followers on the Chinese microblogging system similar to Twitter without any marketing. Yokoyama has already been hit with questions by San Francisco, Seattle, San Leandro, San Jose and Monterey Park police departments on how to set up a Weibo account of their own and translation strategies. During the first quarter of 2014, the Alhambra Police Department plans to ramp up local media advertising and approach businesses about signing up for Weibo.

“What businesses crave is public safety. I think that’s one of the things that businesses want and need,” Yokoyama said in a phone interview. “If they know the types of crimes that are going on around their area, they’re more likely to be aware and take measures to prevent themselves from becoming victims.”

The Weibo account would have been beneficial in warning victims and workers during a series of robberies that occurred during the summer on the Valley Boulevard Corridor, which is a hub for many Asian-owned bank headquarters and businesses, according to Yokoyama.

“A robbery in Alhambra might not rise to the level of information that the LA Times or channel 7 news would report,” he said. “But it’s big enough for us. And we can control that message by putting it on Facebook and Weibo.”

Yokoyama initially contacted writer Walter Yu about the idea of city officials using Weibo as a form of outreach with immigrants after reading his column for the Alhambra Source, a hyperlocal online news site. Yu goes by his pen name Walter Ma on the site. He was not immediately available for comment.

More than half of the police department’s followers on the microblogging site are from China, which it credits to the influx of international travelers and visitors who might want to stay connected to the area where their families live.

In 2012, an estimated 677,000 Chinese tourists spent nearly $2 billion in California, up 31% from 2011. According to the latest statistics by the U.S. Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, nearly 1 in 3 Chinese travelers to the U.S. make a stop in the Los Angeles area.

In Alhambra, Asians make up 52.9% of the population and nearly three quarters of them are Chinese, according to recent census data. Other cities following Alhambra’s example could have national implications for Weibo’s presence.

“The Asian population is going to continue to grow in the United States, and the Chinese population is going to be the largest segment of that growth,” Yokoyama said. “I think Weibo is going to be a natural way to communicate.”

The police department’s Weibo conversation can be followed using the hashtag #WenMeiGuoJingCha (#AskAmericanPolice).

Source: Forbes

Holiday Gift Guides and Deals

Get your Holiday gifting inspired by Best Toy Gifts with High STEM Value and the Top 10 toy gifts under $10 if you are on budget. The most popular Holiday 2017 toy list include Fingerlings, Crate Creatures and more. Don't miss the new Holiday deals on Amazon Devices, including $29.99 Fire tablet.

This story may contain affiliate links.

This free App Solves You Holiday Shopping Problem


Download the free Tracker app now to get in-stock alerts on Fingerling, Luvabella, SNES Classic and more.

Latest News

Comments

The Author


Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

 

Advertisement

comments powered by Disqus