BEIJING, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- Chinese internet giant Sina aims to propel the country's poverty alleviation drive by investing at least 2 billion yuan (288 million U.S. dollars) and leveraging its expansive social media influence in the next two years.
The company announced Thursday the establishment of an office dedicated to reducing poverty as well as a string of poverty alleviation initiatives.
Sina will gather the top 100 most popular influencers on its Twitter-like social media platform Sina Weibo, organizing trips to poverty-stricken regions and sharing their stories.
Leveraging its industrial resources, the company plans to nurture at least one popular local brand in agriculture and other fields for 60 impoverished counties in the next two years.
Sina will also help train local professionals skilled in social media-based e-commerce and marketing via a partnership with government agencies and other firms.
Kiwis from an impoverished county in south-central China's Hunan Province became a hit online in September thanks to a branding campaign on Sina Weibo, setting off strong sales of the local produce.
As one of China's leading social media platforms, Sina Weibo boasted about 446 million monthly active users by the end of September and is home to over 600,000 accounts dedicated to alleviating poverty. About 210 million pieces of poverty-reduction-related posts from nearly 40 million users were tweeted last year.
China still has about 30 million impoverished people who pocket less than 2,300 yuan each year and aims to lift all of them out of poverty by 2020.
Experts say the corporate sector is emerging as an effective and innovative player in the country's battle against poverty as companies leverage their resources by fostering entrepreneurship in poor regions.