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Bill Gates joins China's popular WeChat service

Bill Gates joins China's popular WeChat service

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Bill Gates 2012

Bill Gates has never shied away from using the internet to achieve his philanthropic goals. He’s participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge and multiple Reddit AMAs, and even published incredible book reviews online. This week, the Microsoft co-founder and multibillionaire philanthropist is joining WeChat to reach an even bigger audience. While Gates has participated in Chinese microblogging service Weibo since 2010, WeChat is one of the most popular apps in the world with more than 800 million users.

Gates’ introduction video to the service didn’t involve him dressing up as Austin Powers, but it did include a 12-word welcome in Mandarin. “Hello,” begins Gates in Chinese, before announcing “welcome to my official WeChat account.” Gates revealed in a previous Reddit AMA that he regretted never learning a foreign language, so his attempt at Mandarin have fascinated internet commenters and even The Wall Street Journal.

Gates is planning to publish his English blog in Chinese through WeChat under the “gatesnotes” handle. It’s a new way to reach a massive online audience, especially as Facebook and Twitter are both blocked in China. If you’re a little more fluent in Mandarin than Gates, you can follow his musings over on his official WeChat account.