There have always been obstacles for anyone outside of China interested in signing up for Sina Weibo, the nation’s hottest social network. Registering became even more difficult at the start of last year when authorities clamped down on rumors (and free speech) on Weibo by forcing the site to implement real-name sign-ups. But now, Sina Weibo is making things a bit easier for people outside of China — allowing users to register through their Facebook accounts.
The Facebook login option can be seen on hk.weibo.com after clicking on the grey “register” button on the top-right. I notice it’s replicated on the Taiwanese version of the Weibo homepage. But that button, if it exists, if extremely well-hidden on english.sina.com/weibo — Sina’s English-language “equivalent.”
This Facebook-Weibo hookup was spotted by the startup team that makes Surround app, a third-party Weibo app that features machine translation of Chinese tweets posted to the service. Surround has verified that the Facebook connection works well for Weibo.
Sina Weibo briefly rolled out a partial English interface for its web app at the start of the year, but that later disappeared. The official Weibo mobile apps for iOS and Android retain an English language UI.
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This article originally published at Tech in Asia