British Prime Minister David Cameron has joined Sina Weibo, China's version of Twitter, and posted his first message ahead of a visit to Beijing, Downing Street said Saturday.
A woman views the Chinese social media website Weibo at a cafe in Beijing on April 2, 2012.
"Hello my friends in China. I'm pleased to have joined Weibo and look forward to visiting China very soon," he said in English and Mandarin in his first message.
It has since been forwarded more than 24,000 times.
Cameron has attracted more than 101,000 followers since setting up his account, which helpfully points out that he has the star sign Libra.
A Downing Street spokesman confirmed to AFP that the account was genuine.
The British premier's social media savvy has come a long way since he said in 2009 that he was not joining Twitter because "too many twits might make a twat".
He set up his own Twitter account in October 2012 under the handle @David_Cameron, which now has more than 525,000 followers.
Cameron is due to leave for China on Sunday on a trip aimed at fostering good relations with the new leadership in Beijing and forging business links.
He will be accompanied by a delegation of ministers and business leaders on the visit, his first to the Asian powerhouse since President Xi Jinping took office in March.