China's Sina to launch English microblogging site

China's Sina Corp plans to launch an English version of its popular Twitter-like microblogging service, a company spokesman was quoted saying Tuesday.

The Chinese portal did not provide further details on the new service, Dow Jones Newswires said, and AFP calls to Sina were not answered.

Sina chief executive Charles Chao said last month Weibo had more than 140 million registered users at the end of April and the company aimed to boost the number to "well beyond" 200 million by the end of the year.

The company would likely seek overseas partners for the development of Weibo, Chao said in April.

In December, Chao met with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg during the American's holiday in China where his social networking site is officially blocked along with Twitter.

Many web users on the mainland still manage to access those sites via virtual proxy networks.

Beijing has set up a huge online censorship system sometimes dubbed the "Great Firewall of China" that aggressively blocks sites or snuffs out Internet content on topics considered sensitive.

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