NaMo on Weibo: bridging gaps not at its best

You are number one in software. We are number one in hardware. Together we are the world’s number one – Zhu Rongji, former Premier of the People’s Republic of China.

Are we number one? Maybe, yes. Together (India + China)? No. Feigned endeavours towards mending differences ran into shambles when both superpowers (or so we believe) commenced claiming Godfather-ship over the country is distress.

But this is the situation geographically. Digitally, India and China resemble to Bollywood twins striving to reunite after a venomous vamp attack. NaMo joining Sina Weibo doesn’t remind anyone of the angelic twin making a good impression?

NaMo – The ultimate digital Swag

From #Feku, Narendra Modi ascended to a digital wave, one that now extends to China. Politically, NaMo joining Weibo tallies to a number of possibilities. Digitally, it is a textbook approach with conclusions startling enough to change the very theorem.

The basic thought probably stemmed from the need of connecting to the Mango man in China. Nonetheless, as a digitally active Prime Minister, Narendra Modi is the ultimate influencer for India. And thus a move like this could account to millions of Indians signing up on Weibo. Are you listening Charles Chao? You probably owe a big thank you to our Prime Minister.

However, with this move NaMo unknowingly subscribed to the ban on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter in People’s Republic of China. As a responsible digital native the move indeed poses a huge question?

The move could also equate to NaMo’s vision of emerging as global leader; leading the digital transformation in politics worldwide.

But what next? Joining Weibo applied to pros and cons alike. Cons big enough to hamper his image. While Modi managed to amass 8, 000 likes in jiffy, he also attracted not so welcoming comments on issues such as Zangnan or South Tibet?

NaMo’s widespread network is extremely accident prone. Reportedly, #CameronMustGo, was re-tweeted over a million times a day in 2014. Social media risks at its best.

NaMo joining Weibo is probably India – China relationship betterment 101. But digitally, the move could hamper Modi’s image if negative comments on Weibo begin to take lead.

PR stunt backfiring?

Unlike major world leaders, Modi’s social media expeditions aren’t limited to connecting with the country netizens. NaMo follows other international personalities and engages with populace from around the world. He took social PR to an altogether new level, when he tweeted in Japanese, targeting the regional population.

However, his very own countrymen have been unsatisfied with the PR dynamics of NaMo’s social media strategy.

According to a report by HT Media, Narendra Modi is known to stir away from controversial topics, on the likes of the silent period during the Manmohan Singh regime. Journalists too are known to not being able to reach Modi through his social handles.

When mathematically represented, NaMo’s social presence is directly proportional to Rahul Gandhi’s social absence. However, his omnipresent stature on social media is one sided.

Sushma Swaraj replying to every single tweet during the Nepal earthquake was actually the true power of social media in external affairs.

To be a digital voice, one needs to converse and not just speak. While NaMo is the ultimate digital influencer for India, his moves do not result in him exercising his position.


A writer by Karma, grammar Nazi by heart and traveler by hope, Saloni loves to pen about anything under the sun. With six years of journalism experience under her kitty, Saloni has tried hands on various beats including – Social Media, e-commerce, Mobile, Indian radio, Advertising, Food and Travel. Writing for various national and international publications has given Saloni an understanding of the science of social media.