The Rise of the Chinese Blogosphere

The Rise of the Chinese Blogosphere

Zixue Tai (University of Kentucky, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-100-3.ch432
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In comparison with the USA and Europe, the Chinese blogosphere was off to a later start; however, it has experienced phenomenal growth since its formal birth in 2002. Now China boasts by far the largest blogging community in the world, surpassing the blogger population in the United States and Europe combined. Chinese bloggers are among the first globally to both actively engage in blog writing and reading. Although the Chinese blogosphere has closely followed the global path of technological innovation and ingenuity, it has taken many of its own unique twists and turns in terms of its creative uses and impact on the social, political and cultural contexts of Chinese society. Focusing on the popularization of blogs, mainstreaming, and commercialization of the global cyber culture in China, this chapter paints a portrait of a Chinese blogger. Due to the omnipresent state control of cyberspace and heavy-handed state censoring of online information, most Chinese bloggers have shied away from politically sensitive and subversive issues and topics. The most popular blogging topics include the documentation of personal experiences and the expression of individual viewpoints on a wide range of topics; these topics are followed by hobbies, entertainment, and amusement.

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