Twitter will support Chinese language in the coming weeks, according to a research report published today.
It’s not clear how well that will help Chinese users in the mainland, since the service has been banned since 2009. It may not make much of a dent at all in Twitter’s hopes to capture the hearts and minds of Chinese-language users of the microblogging platform.
China already has Sina’s Weibo, which claimed in March of this year that it had already surpassed 100 million users. That service is used extensively outside of China, as well as within the country, giving it an advantage over any move Twitter might make to take over that territory.
However, there are other countries where the Chinese language is used in microblogging. Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong come to mind. But even taken all together they don’t amount to the estimated 485 million Internet and mobile Web users in China.
Twitter has had some success with its Translation Center, with 200,000+ translators across all languages. It’s hard to beat inherent scale, though.