Authorities in the People’s Republic of China communicate with citizens using an estimated 600,000 Sina Weibo microblogs. This study reports on a study of Chinese citizens’ adoption of microblogs to interact with the government. Adoption results from trust and peer pressure in smaller-network ties (densely knit, pervasive social networks surrounding individual citizens). Larger-network ties (trust in institutions at large, such as the Chinese Communist Party, executive organizations, the judicial system, the media, etc.) are not associated with the adoption of microblogging. Furthermore, higher levels of anxiety are correlated with lower levels of use intention, and this finding underlines the impact of the Chinese authority’s surveillance and control activities on the lives of individual Chinese citizens. Based on these findings, we outline a theory of why citizens use microblogs to interact with the government and suggest avenues for further research into microblogs, state–citizen communication patterns and technology adoption.

adoption, China, diffusion, microblogging, Sina Weibo, social media, trust in government
dx.doi.org/10.1177/0020852319887480, hdl.handle.net/1765/123974
International Review of Administrative Sciences: an international journal of comparative public administration
Department of Public Administration and Sociology (DPAS)

Homburg, V.M.F, Moody, R.F.I, Yang, Q, & Bekkers, V.J.J.M. (2020). Adopting microblogging solutions for interaction with government. International Review of Administrative Sciences: an international journal of comparative public administration, 0(0), 1–19. doi:10.1177/0020852319887480