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Kobe Bryant's Worldwide Popularity on Display After Joining Chinese Social Media

MIAMI, FL - FEBRUARY 10: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers drives around Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat during a game  at American Airlines Arena on February 10, 2013 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Dan FavaleFeatured ColumnistFebruary 14, 2013

For Kobe Bryant, the antisocial has now become really social.

Roughly one month after the Black Mamba committed to Twitter, he has now reportedly joined the Chinese micro-blogging site Sina Weibo (via ESPN.com):

He has not uttered one word yet, but Kobe Bryant's mere presence on a Twitter-like Chinese-language microblogging site has stirred plenty of excitement.

Sina Weibo has verified that the NBA superstar has set up an individual account on its hugely popular site. Bryant's followers numbered more than 100,000 within hours on Thursday.

Bryant is widely known and extremely popular in China. The Los Angeles Lakers star has several fan pages on Sina Weibo.

Sina Weibo has been likened to that of both Twitter and Facebook, and Bryant is hardly the first high-profile celebrity to join the party. Heck, he's not even the first NBA superstar; Kevin Durant is also a member of the site.

As one of the most popular players in the world, it makes sense for Kobe board this train. He's already hit the ground running on Twitter, and taking his new-found appreciation for social media global will only increase the popularity of his international brand.

Bryant also has some ties to China already as well. Not only does he have a large following on the site itself, but he contemplated playing there professionally while the NBA was still dealing with the ramifications of the lockout.

Toss in the fact that Sina Weibo has some 400 million registered users, and Kobe's latest social media concession becomes a no-brainer.

His six-figure following within hours of joining is hardly a surprise either. He's already proven to be one of the most influential people on the web.

In just one month since joining Twitter, Bryant has more than 1.3 million followers. There's no telling what he'll be able to do with an even larger audience (more pictures of his ice baths?).

Though the Mamba has yet to "utter a word" on his account, we can imagine his opening dialogue will read "The antisocial has gone global," or something along those lines.

Really, all that's left to wonder now is how many posts will be dedicated to documenting the staged boxing matches that take place between Kobe and Dwight Howard.

 

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