Hong Kong authorities have started creating social media accounts on Xiaohongshu and Weibo to tell positive stories of Hong Kong internationally. Chris Tang Ping Keung, the secretary for security in Hong Kong said on his Facebook page on 10 September, that he has launched his official account on Weibo and Xiaohongshu upon Mid-Autumn Festival.
Tang’s Weibo has over 43,000 followers at the moment, despite having only three posts describing his trip to Yuen Long’s old lantern street and bakery. His three posts are also posted on his Xiaohongshu account.
The move comes as Hong Kong’s new leader
John Lee stressed that one of the key chapters of the story of Hong Kong is about its national and international connectivity. He said at an event earlier in July that the Hong Kong government will make the best endeavours to tell the world the good stories of Hong Kong.
Lee also said at a national English-speaking competition in August that it's important for young people to tell the world a good story about Hong Kong whenever possible. Lee said the one demand he has of students is for them to tell the world the good things about Hong Kong, according to
Commenting on the trend, Ken Cheung, digital director of social media agency KREW Digital told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE that there are quite a lot of sophisticated newcomers from the mainland that are active users of Xiaohongshu. Therefore, these demographics indirectly prompted people they interact with to open their own Xiaohongshu accounts to facilitate further interactions.
"As users in Xiaohongshu are constantly providing positive content spanning from leisure, academic and job hunting hacks, it helps cultivate an uplifting environment for Tang to disseminate positive images of Hong Kong to those who already are supporters of the city. That being said, they are still in need of a solution to cater to active Facebook and Instagram users, who are exposed to a wider political spectrum in both platforms," Cheung added.
Florence Kong, founder & managing director of We Glow, said: "To better connected with modern Chinese audiences, setting up a page in Weibo and Xiaohongshu are the way to go. On the other hand, the government needs to understand the role of different platforms so as to tailor different messages to effectively communicate to the audiences."
"For Weibo, since the Chinese audiences are using it on daily basis for news and official promotions, the government could consider to deliver more Hong Kong latest news and development that is relevant to Chinese consumers. For Xiaohongshu, it’s more lifestyle platform for young generation, the government officials can adopt a storytelling approach to talk about Hong Kong in in terms of popular culture and people stories," Kong added.
On the other hand, Hong Kong lawmaker Priscilla Leung has urged for the city’s Education Bureau to set up a team of online influencers to convey the "correct message" that Hong Kong was never a British colony.
At a meeting of the Legislative Council’s education panel on 5 July 2022, Leung, who spoke as the panel chairman, referred to the recent controversy surrounding how new textbooks for the upper secondary subject of citizenship and social development, are mentioning that the territory was never a British colony but that the British “only exercised colonial rule” in Hong Kong.
Leung, a Legco member representing the Election Committee constituency and a lawyer by training, recalled in the meeting that the treaties that ceded the territory to Britain close to two centuries ago are totally unfair and are not recognised by China or under international law, “ 係戰爭開始, 歸於和平, 和平係 '一國兩制’, 呢樣嘢點令學生感受到成個過程係好重要 (It all started because of the war, and it ended in peace, and peace means ‘one country two systems’, it is important for students to know).”