Police WeChat accounts for foreigners that offer exit-entry policy information and community news, as well as answer questions about a range of matters affecting expatriates are attracting more and more subscribers, operators told Shanghai Daily yesterday.
WeChat, an instant messaging mobile application with a large number of Chinese users, is very popular among expats as well.
In Pudong, where there are about 80,000 foreign residents, the WeChat account "pdjwryfwz" hosted by the district's exit-entry authorities and foreigners service station staff has over 300 followers nine months after being launched.Gu Zhudan, an employee at the Weifang Community Foreigners Service Station, said: "We hoped to offer expats one place for answers to all the most constantly asked questions because we found that some people had to come to us several times."
The English-language account enables readers to access information by simply entering key words such as "registration."
Updated at least once a week, the account, edited by Gu and his fellow staff, also carries news of community events such as parties and art lectures. Gu said: "Some expats told us that they want to join their Chinese neighbors in those events."
Gan Mengsheng, deputy office director of the exit-entry administration in Pudong, said many expats seek information regarding temporary residence registration and visa issues.
"Sometimes expats entrust those matters to agents who charge them excessive amounts of money, but through this account all of the necessary information is readily available," he said.
"And when they have further requests, they can send text or voice messages to get answers right away."
In Minhang District, the WeChat account "hongqiaopolice110" has attracted over 200 subscribers since late 2014.