Published September 06, 2013
BEIJING (AFP) – One of China's most popular microbloggers received a huge outpouring of sympathy on Friday after he announced online that he has cancer.
Kai-Fu Lee, a former head of Google China, has more than 51 million followers -- more than the entire population of Spain -- on Sina Weibo, China's equivalent of Twitter, and is ranked as its most influential user.
"Life is limited but the world moves on. At the end of the day, everybody is equal before cancer," he said in his post late Thursday.
A Taiwanese-born American who now runs a capital venture fund in Beijing incubating technology start-ups, Lee is respected by China's young as an inspirational and gritty figure.
The posting immediately drew wide attention and was the most reposted entry Friday morning with nearly 130,000 repetitions, most of them sympathetic and supportive.
Lee posted again Friday, thanking users and confirming he had been diagnosed with lymph cancer. "That does not sound very optimistic," he added. "This is life."
That posting quickly became the second most re-posted entry on Sina Weibo.
"Mister Kaifu, wish you get recovered at an early date. If the Chinese society still has positive energy and I can vote for only three representatives for it, you will definitely be one of them," wrote one web user.
Han Han, a prominent writer and a well-known blogger, encouraged Lee to "keep moving on".
"He has been trying hard to make the world better... and he enabled more young people to have such an opportunity and power," he wrote on his weibo account.
"Walking a long way you will inevitably encounter rain, but a nice person will finally live through to see the sun when the clouds clear away."