BEIJING –Microsoft founder Bill Gates on Tuesday officially opened his WeChat public account by sharing a Chinese translation of the 2017 Annual Letter, written by himself and Melinda Gates.
Starting in 2009, Bill Gates has released the letter at the beginning of each year. This year, the letter highlighted progress in global health and development during the past 25 years.
This post had clocked up more than 30,000 reads and received over 1,700 likes within two hours of its release Tuesday evening.
In a 30-second video shared earlier on the account, followers of the official account were greeted by Gates in Chinese.
“Hello, welcome to my new WeChat public account,” he said.
“This is my personal blog, where I will talk bout the people I meet, the books I am reading, and what I am learning,” he continued in English.
“I hope you will join the conversation,” he added.
As China takes an increasing leadership role in health, development and global affairs, according to a media statement released by the account Tuesday, Gates will use the WeChat public account to discuss positive examples of international collaboration in areas of health, energy and philanthropy.
The public account will accept questions from Chinese about the Annual Letter and the new account by the end of February. Gates will select two to three to answer in later posts.
In 1975, Gates and Paul Allen co-founded Microsoft, which became the world’s largest PC software company. Over the years, successful stories of entrepreneurship have gained him popularity in China.
Gates opened a Weibo account six years ago.
Some influential international figures, such as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, Apple CEO Tim Cook and International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde, have accounts on China’s microblog Sina Weibo. They regularly post updates on their work and lives, and extend seasonal greetings to Chinese netizens.
Renowned British scientist Stephen Hawking opened his Weibo account last April. He has over 4.2 million followers.