During his current visit to Beijing to announce new environmental initiatives, Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook has opened an account on Weibo, China’s popular micro-blogging platform resembling Twitter.
The company’s newly-announced environmental initiatives in China are the topic of Cook’s first post. “Hello China! Happy to be back in Beijing, announcing innovative new environmental programs,” his Weibo post reads.
The message is accompanied by a Chinese translation. Cook’s Weibo presence is verified and the account had nearly 400,000 followers at post time.
Weibo, one of multiple social services directly integrated into iOS and OS X, claims more than a hundred million daily posts and is used by approximately one-third of China’s online users.
Expanding Cook’s social media presence to Weibo reflects Apple’s growing fortunes in China, a 1.33 billion people market where it stands as the largest smartphone vendor during. According to latest IDC numbers, Apple during the first quarter of 2015 shipped 14.5 million iPhones for a 14.7 percent market share in the country.
Fresh stats shared during the recent earnings call paint a rosy picture for Apple’s growing popularity in China, reflected in a 31 percent growth in Mac sales and a 100 percent growth in App Store sales.
Apple now operates 21 retail stores in the country and is scheduled to open an additional 19 stores by mid-2016.
Last month, Apple and SunPower Corporation partnered to build two 20-megawatt solar power plants, marking SunPower’s first international solar collaboration with the iPhone maker. These solar installations will power all of Apple’s corporate offices and retail stores in China.
In addition, the company yesterday announced a multi-year forestland program in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund to responsibly manage one million acres of working forests which provide fiber for pulp, paper and wood products.
Apple wants to be on the cutting edge of China’s green transformation by setting an example through greening its data centers, retail stores and corporate offices in the country.
“We’re ready to start leading the way toward reducing carbon emissions from manufacturing,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “This won’t happen overnight—in fact it will take years—but it’s important work that has to happen, and Apple is in a unique position to take the initiative toward this ambitious goal.”