The growing number of influential Weibo commentators are increasingly opening their own online shops or promoting products.
Americans accustomed to shopping the web say they'd like to cast their vote there, too. In a new BizRate.com survey of more than 7,200 shoppers, nearly three-quarters of respondents -- 72% -- said that in the next presidential election, they'd like to be able to trade in their paper ballot for a keyboard and mouse. "As the Internet becomes more prevalent in our daily lives, it's not surprising that many savvy online surfers are looking to expand the Web's potential for activities other than e commerce," says Chuck David, CEO of BizRate.com. But e commerce does play a role in this year's elections Ð the survey showed that a candidate's policy on online sales tax would impact the decision of 26% of online shoppers polled. In a BizRate.com poll last December, nearly 60% of surveyed shoppers said they would make fewer purchases on the web if they had to pay a sales tax on all Internet purchases. The survey also showed that as with this presidential election so far, party affiliations among online shoppers appear to be in a dead heat. Of those surveyed, 32% are registered Democrats and 31% registered Republicans. A total of 8% said they aren't registered, while 29% are affiliated with other parties or didn't specify an affiliation.