Large Companies ‘Slow to Use Weibo to Respond to Bad News’

04.22.2013 18:24

Large Companies ‘Slow to Use Weibo to Respond to Bad News’

Report says central government-controlled firms are not as good as officials in responding to negative reports

By staff reporter Zhang Fan

(Beijing) – Central government-controlled companies are slow to use social media to respond to negative news, a report by an online public opinion monitoring organization says.

The report by the Peoples’ Daily Online Public Opinion Monitoring Center said ministries, commissions and local governments were more likely to use weibo, China’s version of Twitter, to interact with the public.

The businesses also seldom used spokesmen to address bad news, the report said.The report cited the examples of China Telecom Corp. Ltd. and China Cosco Holdings Co. The former received bad press when China Central Television reported on March 15, 2012, that the telecoms company leaked customers’ personal information and sent junk text messages.

Cosco Holdings, the country’s largest shipping company by fleet size, had been in the news last year for the large financial losses it suffered in 2011.

The center’s researchers studied events from 2010 to 2012 and placed them in eight categories, such as companies’ violations of laws and rules, safety incidents, problems with product quality, and disputes over salaries and benefits received by employees.

The report also said the sources of bad news were growing more diverse, and now included media outlets, consumers, interested parties and employees. Net users were also making their voices heard.

Negative news was also likely to stay on weibo longer than in traditional media, the report said. Some 30 percent of incidents spent more than 10 days on Sina Weibo, but only 16.7 percent lasted more than 10 days on traditional media.

The report also predicted several areas in which central government-controlled companies could come in for criticism this year.

One issue involved the companies entering sectors that were not their main areas of business. In such instances the public was likely to be angry that the country’s assets were forcing private capital out of a specific industry.

Also, amid constant news that the wealth gap was growing, the public could be resentful of the salaries and benefits the employees of the companies receive.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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