Bill Gates creates account on China's WeChat app

PHOTO: Reuters

China's most popular messaging app now has one more person it can add to its massive user base - Bill Gates.

The Microsoft founder joined WeChat on Saturday, and made his first post: a brief 30 second video in which he welcomed Chinese netizens to his account.

WeChat has a Whatsapp-like messaging interface, but is also popularly used for its blogging timeline feature, similar to what Facebook offers.

Gates' account is @gatesnotes, and he describes it as his "personal blog."

Gates adds here that the account will "share about the people I meet, the books I'm reading" among other things.Photo: WeChat

Gates adds that the account will "share about the people I meet, the books I'm reading and what I'm learning." He also invites users to "join the conversation."

The post has received 80,000 views and over 6000 likes so far.

But Gates is not the only Western celebrity to jump on the WeChat bandwagon.

Adam Lambert, Selena Gomez and even the Backstreet Boys have signed up to WeChat to engage with Chinese fans.

WeChat has since its launch in 2011, become China's top social app, with some 846 million users signed up. The vast majority of those users use the app daily, says Tencent, WeChat's maker.

Read also: Bill Gates could become the world's first trillionaire

People can subscribe to personalities' accounts to follow them, and many consume news via broadcasters' accounts on WeChat.

And besides social media functions, WeChat is often used to pay bills, split the tab among friends, and even hail cabs.

Read also: WeChat dominates China mobile app use

Bill Gates isn't new to the Chinese social media scene. His older Weibo account (similar to Twitter) that he first launched in 2010, currently boasts just over 3 million followers.

Gates has been posting on a series of topics including climate change, R&D and fighting global poverty.

Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking had last year dominated Chinese social media when he launched a Weibo account, gaining a million followers over just six hours at launch.

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