blog.cn – China blogging

Trends of blogging in China.

Blogbus.com prepares to shift up a gear

By Chen Shasha

Standfirst: A blogging frenzy grips China’s Internet users, but how to effectively generate revenue from this unique medium has had operators scratching their heads. For Dou Yi, CEO of Blogbus.com, the answer lies in the bloggers themselves. Interfax spoke with the former investment manager and self-confessed blog addict last week.
 
Shanghai. May 15. INTERFAX-CHINA – Much like the rest of the world, blogging in China has exploded in popularity over the last few years.

However, the country’s 46.98 million bloggers and 72.82 million blogs, according to China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) in 2007, pose a unique challenge to a government that exerts tight control over the media and the dissemination of comments it deems to be politically or socially “unhealthy”. 
 
Despite this, companies have been quick to see the marketing opportunities offered by China’s blogging addiction. In 2006, MSN China began putting advertisements on its MSN spaces. However, though the move brought in revenue for the company, many bloggers were angered by it, with some migrating to other blog platforms. The case made many in the industry put more thought into how to monetize their services without alienating their often vocal and opinionated user base.

“Bloggers may feel as if their online homes have been invaded if we put advertising on their blogs or change basic design without their permission,” Dou Yi, CEO of Blogbus.com, one of China’s largest blog platforms, told Interfax. 
 
Dou himself is a popular blog writer. He majored in finance, then worked in a securities company for eight years. However, his love of blogging led him to purchase Blogbus.com in 2003. 
 
In 2006, Blogbus received $3 million venture capital from Japan Asia Investment and Cyber Agent. According to Dou, Blogbus began turning a profit from the second quarter of 2007, largely due to its marketing method. 

Blogbus’s route to profitability

Although Blogbus does post advertisements directly on blog pages, Dou is keen to use other methods of generating revenue that will not disturb blog spaces. “Bloggers in China are very independently minded, which makes advertising on their blogs difficult,” Dou said. 
 
By tapping into this independence and the community spirit among bloggers, Dou has seen new ways of generating revenue, with the active participation of bloggers.

A Nielsen Online Global Customer Study in 2007 showed that people mainly trust

recommendations and opinions from other consumers, rather than branded Web sites and online banner advertisements. 
 
Dou said that Blogbus hopes to generate profit through this camaraderie between bloggers.”For example, we cooperated with Absolut Vodka to promote its Ice Bar in Shanghai last year.

We invited 60 bloggers to the Ice Bar, after which most wrote about the experience on their

blog. Absolut Vodka has continued to cooperate with us since,” Dou said. “Blogging’s nature makes it a perfect platform for product placement marketing. Rather than direct advertising by brands, bloggers write articles on their experiences of the brand,” Dou continued.  The method has generated millions of Renminbi in revenue for Blogbus, Dou said. 
 
Blogbus’s new plan 
 
According to Dou, blog marketing is the main source of Blogbus’s profit. In addition, one-fifth of its revenues come from its VIP users, who pay for additional services. These include design of blog spaces and help in migrating content from other platforms. VIP users are also allocated its own domain name, without “blogbus.com” appended to it.
 
Dou said 1 percent of the site’s users sign up for VIP services, for which they are each charged between RMB 100 ($14.29) and RMB 400 ($57.16) per year.
 
According to a CNNIC survey of 1,862 Chinese Internet users last November, 10 percent were willing to pay for their online space in order to receive more services while 6 percent of them hoped to share advertisement revenues generated by their blogs with their blog service runners. 
 
Dou is also considering partnering with advertisers to give prizes rather than cash to bloggers. The scheme will involve granting bloggers points for writing blogs, which can then be exchanged for prizes.

“However, Blogbus will offer more than blog services in the future. We aim at become a media company,” Dou said. 
 
Blogbus’s target users are mainly urban dwellers aged from 23 to 35. Dou said he will establish further businesses targeting those users in the next couple of years, including print media and live performance. Perhaps because of his background as an investment manager in a securities company, Dou differs from many other heads of Chinese Internet companies when it comes to his views regarding listing on the stock market. “A good company should continue generating profit.

Listing is only a return to its investors, rather than a goal for development,” Dou said.

Original article HERE.

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May 20, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 16 Comments

China bans new Internet cafes for a year

By Reuters
http://news.com.com/China+bans+new+Internet+cafes+for+a+year/2100-1047_3-6164579.html

Story last modified Tue Mar 06 04:22:58 PST 2007

Fearful of soaring Internet addiction and juvenile crime, China has banned the opening of new Internet cafes this year, state media reported on Tuesday. “In 2007, local governments must not sanction the opening of new Internet bars,” Xinhua news agency on Tuesday quoted a directive jointly released by 14 government departments, including the Ministry of Culture, as saying.

The notice said Internet cafes that had received planning approval would need to be completed by June 30, 2007.

There are currently about 113,000 Internet cafes and bars in China, Xinhua said, citing the Ministry of Information Industry.

The notice comes as lawmakers at China’s annual session of parliament, the National People’s Congress, called for stricter regulations to keep teenagers away from Internet cafes, which are often seen in China as hotbeds of juvenile crime.

“It is common to see students from primary and middle schools lingering in Internet bars overnight, puffing on cigarettes and engrossed in online games,” Xinhua quoted NPC deputy Yu Wen as saying in a separate report.

In a bid to curb soaring rates of addiction that have accompanied the rapid spread of the Internet in recent years, China has banned minors from cybercafes and levies heavy fines on operators who defy regulations.

Last year, a report from the China National Children’s Center, a government think-tank, said that 13 percent of China’s 18 million Internet users under 18 were Internet addicts. But the affliction apparently isn’t limited to teenagers. Last week, state media reported that an obese 26-year-old man in northeastern China died over the Lunar New Year holiday after an extra-long online gaming session.

Story Copyright © 2007 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.

Original Story HERE.

March 6, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Maryland’s Smith School Launches Chinese Business Plan Competition

 College Park, Md. — The University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of
Business
said on Monday that it has launched a business plan competition in
China that will award eight grand prize winners all-expense-paid trips to the
U.S. for business training at the school’s Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship.
The contest, being organized by the Dingman Center and CCTV,
also will award cash prizes totaling $50,000 to the top three finishers. The
school, which also provides executive education programs in China, said that it
is now accepting two-page executive summaries from Chinese entrepreneurs
outlining their business ideas in the areas of technology, communications or
bio-technology. Selected finalists will then participate in a final round
competition in June, where their ideas will be presented before a panel of
venture capitalists and business leaders.

Click HERE for more information.

October 2, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Chinese bloggers top 17 million

Some 17.5 million blogs are being published in China, according to new research from a local government-sponsored internet organisation.

China has around 75 million regular blog readers, representing slightly more than 61 percent of its online population of 123 million, the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) reported.

The actual number of people who have signed up with accounts at blogging services in China is even higher than these figures, reaching almost 34 million by the end of August this year, the CNNIC says.

However, half of these accounts have not yet been put into regular use by their owners. Such ‘sleeping blogs’ are a huge waste of Internet resources, the CNNIC arguedin a statement issued at the weekend.

Of the 17.5 million blogs that are in use, the CNNIC describes 7.7 million as ‘active’. The organisation defines active blogs as those which are updated at least once a month.

At the current rate of growth, the number of active blogs in China will most likely exceed 10 million by the end of the year.

Globally, some 175,000 new blogs are being created every day, according to David Sifry, founder and chief executive of popular blog search site Technorati.

Technorati indexes blogs in many languages, including Chinese, and tracks more than 55 million blogs in total.

Chinese-language blogs make up some seven percent of Technorati’s most popular blogs, indicating that Chinese is the second most popular blogging language after English.

The authors of most of these blogs appear to be based in China. Technorati’s popularity rankings are based on the number of links to each blog, not the number of visitors.

According to Sifry’s personal blog, some 12 percent of blog postings indexed by his company in June were in Chinese, making the language third most popular behind English and Japanese, which were used for 39 percent and 31 percent of postings respectively.

But Sifry noted that “there are some significant underreporting issues, especially in Korean and in French”.

Combining CNNIC’s research results with Technorati’s assessment of the number of blogs worth indexing would suggest that at least 15 percent of the world’s blogs are now Chinese.

CNNIC is a non-profit organisation set up by the Chinese government in 1997. It is administered by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and follows policy guidelines laid down by the Ministry of Information Industry.

Critics have accused the organisation of being over optimistic in its predictions of Internet growth in China.

Original story HERE.

September 29, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Chinese World Cup blogger racks up hits

By Reuters

Beijing blogger and podcaster Dong Lu registered his 10 millionth hit on Friday morning, racing to the landmark on the back of China's obsession with the World Cup. The 36-year-old's irreverent take on soccer's showpiece, produced with the help of three friends in the living room of his apartment on the northeast outskirts of Beijing, has proved hugely popular with China's online audience.

Sporting a multicolored Afro wig and a fake mustache, Dong presents a podcast every other day featuring caricatures of leading players, parodies of the many soccer-themed adverts on Chinese television and the occasional song.

"We do it for fun, out of passion for football," Dong, looking suitably bleary-eyed after another all-night session in front the TV watching the action from Germany, told Reuters.

"The World Cup is a great event for everybody whether from small countries or large ones, rich or poor."

Talking freely
Dong is no media outsider, however. He covered the 2002 World Cup as a journalist and still finds time for his day job as a columnist with a weekly sports paper.

Some have suggested the reason for the enormous popularity of sport and showbiz blogs in China is because they allow people to talk freely.

"In sports journalism there is relative freedom of expression and we can give our opinions about a match and other sporting issues," said Dong.

"In other fields, such as the social and political arenas, there are regulations. I've spent 10 years working in the media and I understand the line that can never be crossed.

"There are many other interesting things in life for me to talk about. It's about fun, not trouble."

Dong started his blog last November to air his views on life, music and his love of soccer.

"At first I wasn't sure if anyone would be interested," he said. "But it took off after a month and the start of World Cup finals has brought an extra 100,000 hits a day."

Like many China, whose team failed to qualify for the finals, Dong is backing Brazil and his yellow number nine shirt signed by Ronaldo is never far from view.

"Someone offered to give me a car for it," he said. "But I turned them down."

Asked what his wife thought of him turning their apartment into a television studio, Dong laughed: "She's very supportive of what I do. I'm her superstar."

Story Copyright © 2006 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.

CLICK HERE to see original posting. 

June 16, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

China to pass 60 million bloggers

Blogging is booming in China with the number of bloggers expected to hit 60 million by the end of this year.

China is the world's second-largest internet market after the US, with more than 110 million users. A survey by Chinese search engine Baidu.com put the current number of blog sites at 36.82 million which are kept by 16 million people, the official Xinhua news agency said on Saturday.

The number of Chinese bloggers is expected to hit 60 million by the end of this year, Xinhua said, quoting a report on China's media industry by the prestigious Tsinghua University.

Zhang Xiaorong, strategy development director of "Bokee", which was set up in 2002 and claims the biggest share of China's blogging market, said his company adds about 100,000 blogs per day.

Xinhua quoted Zhang as saying: "The expected 60 million bloggers would account for more than half of China's 110 million 'netizens'."

The university report forecast the number of bloggers in China would hit 100 million by 2007. Xinhua did not elaborate.

Although the industry has invested heavily in blogs, none of the blog service providers are making profits, the report said.

A recent report by the Internet Society of China showed nine per cent of bloggers write every day, 35 per cent write four to six times per week and 29 per cent write once to three times per week, Xinhua said.

CLICK HERE for original posting.

May 9, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 4 Comments

To blog or not to blog?

To blog or not to blog Is that a question for you?Despite a huge influx of participants, the blogosphere in China is experiencing a small "counter-current" of quitters, spearheaded by celebrity bloggers.

In early March, Bai Ye, a renowned literary critic, closed his blog on Sina.com.cn after days of blog-to-blog argument with a lionized young writer.

"I don't know how to react to unseemly and irrational words from the writer and his idolaters," Bai wrote in his last entry on March 5.

The spat was kindled by one of his logs that lambasted the "post-1980 generation" of young writers and their works. Han Han, one of those writers, responded with a diatribe.

Han fired back in his blog that Bai had "no ingenuity or talent" and was "a pedantic diehard." Touting his own stories as "rare literature in China," the writer in his 20s used vulgarities in his log, which sparked another round of "blog quarrel" between the two.

Then came the end of Bai's blog.

Within a month, a similar incident happened between Han and Gao Xiaosong, a famous music producer. The two "spat" at each other for several days, starting with "Han's humiliating log against my friend Lu Chuan the director known for his film 'Mountain Patrol (Ke Ke Xi Li)'," said Gao, who later blogged that he would sue Han for illegally borrowing his lyrics in a book.

About five days later, after more heated exchanges, Gao also closed his blog.

"It was not because of him (Han Han) or the bickering that I shut my blog," Gao told China Daily in a phone interview.

He said it was mainly because he could not get accustomed to the blogosphere, which he called "dirty and foolish."

"It seems that anyone can utter any curse in the guise of anonymity on the Internet," Gao said. "It is especially unfair for us, since our blogs are real-name but most of our blog viewers leave unfriendly comments without a name."

Calling the Internet an "uncivilized place," the music producer said he hated to "re-evolve online as a civilized man."

Like Gao and Bai, a number of celebrities, including crosstalk star Guo Degang, closed their blogs in the past two months, either in response to harsh comments from netizens or as a result of increasing intentional misconceptions.

Ordinary quitters

But the story is a bit different with ordinary bloggers. While the total number in China is approaching 15.2 million this year, and one prediction for next year is 28.6 million, according to the Sanlian Life Week, one of the most famous magazines based in Beijing, a slew of bloggers are also quitting.

"It is a waste of time," said Shu Ruyue, an ex-blogger on MSN Space whose blog lasted nine months till March this year.

"It is not that you spend how much time on writing, but how much time you would while away with others. If you find nothing new in your interest or there is no update at all, you feel disappointed."

Jin Jianbin, associate professor at the School of Journalism and Communication of Tsinghua University, says most bloggers devote too much time to updating their blogs and thus become "blog-addicted."

"They spend a lot of time opening their own blogs to view comments and the click-through rate," Jin said. "And to win more comments and clicks in return, they squander more time collecting stories and attractive information to embellish their blogs."

Jin says there has always been a waste of resources on the Internet. A recent survey conducted by the Internet Society of China indicates that each article online is reprinted four times on average, which means that the Internet is creating more trash information and that blogging is escalating it.

"The study shows that blogging expands the spread of online activities, which directly leads to a longer hook onto the Internet," Jin said.

The inevitable result is more isolation from people in personal settings and from outdoor activities.

Another reason Shu shut her blog, she said, was the difficulty to strike a balance between writing whatever she wants and writing something "that won't be too offensive to those who have access to my space," she said.

Those who are still blogging understand her headache.

Some bloggers expose the privacy of their friends in the logs, resulting in friendship ruptures; some bloggers cast offensive words onto others wilfully; and some find their logs are plagiarized by blog service providers for other use.

Last November, an associate professor at Nanjing University, found himself under attack in a blog on Blogcn (www.blogcn.com), the largest blogosphere in China. He asked the website to edit the log but was refused. The enraged professor then sued the website. The case has not yet been resolved.

A court case, which is scheduled on Thursday, will address for the first time in China the issue of blog copyright. Qin Tao, a Shanghai-based blogger, sued Sohu, one of China's portal websites, for its unauthorized reprint of her logs. Her action was soon echoed by three other bloggers, claiming copyright infringement.

Jin attributed the problems to the peculiar nature of blogs and the lack of a related law.

"Different from a BBS (bulletin board system), which is organized around topics, blogs are something egocentric," said Jin, who has been researching blogs almost since they started. "Therefore, any negative message from a blog will be more likely considered a flagrant provocation mixed with strong personal dislikes."

So, when someone finds bad words in a blog, he or she will be more inclined to take it seriously, Jin said.

Also, challenging the bottom line of free expression, blogs in China are growing so fast that the laws cannot keep up.

"There is a convention of self-discipline about online activities, but the details are being revised along with the emergence of new problems," Jin said.

"Lawmakers must set down some important definitions, including the responsibilities of bloggers and blog service providers."

Jin concluded that an online insult is as unforgivable as one in real life, and "no one should be allowed to cross the line."

Source:China Daily — CLICK HERE for original article

April 24, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

China censoring is not Google’s business: CEO

Google’s chief executive Eric E Schmidt, whose company has been sharply criticised for complying with Chinese censorship, said last week that he had not lobbied to change the country’s censorship laws and, for now, had no plans to do so.

“I think it’s arrogant for us to walk into a country where we are just beginning operations and tell that country how to run itself,” Schmidt said on a recent visit to China to promote Google’s new Chinese search engine. He announced the opening of a research and development centre in Beijing’s high-technology district and also introduced a Chinese-language brand name for the company’s domestic search engine — Gu Ge, which roughly translates as “a harvesting song”.

But in the sessions, which involved both Chinese and foreign reporters at various times, Schmidt faced questions about the censorship controversy that has involved Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and Cisco Systems. Schmidt defended the decision to cooperate with the censors, saying that accepting the restrictions of Chinese law was unavoidable for Google to enter the Chinese market.

“We had a choice to enter the country and follow the law,” Schmidt said. “Or we had a choice not to enter the country.”

The company’s regular, unfiltered search engine is still available in China, although it is significantly slowed by the Chinese censors. And the filtered search engine does notify a user when information has been censored. In addition, Google has not introduced e-mail or blogging to avoid being told to turn over personal information on dissidents to officials. Yahoo has been denounced for providing information that helped Chinese authorities convict such dissidents.

Google is still negotiating to receive the full complement of licenses to operate in the country. Schmidt declined to discuss which licensing hurdles remain. China already has more than 111 million Internet users, the second-highest number in the world, after the United States. Schmidt said he expected China to become one of Google’s most important markets.

NY TIMES

 CLICK HERE FOR ORIGINAL ARTICLE

 
 
 

April 18, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 4 Comments

CNNIC Courting Bloggers With New Domain Registration Service

Editorial Summary

China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) started offering domain name registration service "Blog 2.0" on April 5, reports Beijing Morning Post. The service targets individual bloggers so that they no longer have to work with a Blog Service Provider (BSP). The report said that some .CN domain name registrars have started selling domain names to individual bloggers for four to five Yuan per year. Actress and popular blogger Xu Jinglei has her own personal domain at www.xujinglei.cn, which currently links to her blog on Sina (Nasdaq: SINA).

FOR MORE CLICK HERE.

April 14, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 13 Comments

Stars use celebrity blogs to bring fans closer

XU Jinglei’s blog has become the focus of Chinese net citizens’ attention.

The famous director and actress talked about her friends, her experiences shooting movies in her personal space where she has also posted her photos as well.

“The blog makes me feel closer to her,” said Wang Shu, an employee at a consulting firm in Beijing, who visits Xu’s blog once a week.

“Through the blog, I found that the star’s experiences and feelings are very similar to mine,” Wang added.

On March 6, a fan of Xu spent half of his monthly salary to buy a more user-friendly domain name for Xu’s blog (www.xujinglei.cn). The fan’s action has brought an additional 2 million online hits to Xu’s blog. So far, Xu’s blog has attracted 18 million hits since it debuted last October.

Xu is not alone in the celebrity blog wave. Well-known IT experts, writers, economists and property giants have established personal spaces online.

Wang Shi, chairman of real property firm Vanke, likes to talk about his mountaineering experience on his blog.

Yu Hua, a famous writer, posted the first chapter of a to-be-published novel “Brothers (Xiongdi) Part 2” on his blog. Yu likes to write literature reviews on his blog.

Hong Bo, editor-in-chief of an IT Website, introduces the latest Internet applications and potential opportunities on his blog, keso.cn.

“The celebrity blog has led readers to see the other side of the stars, which seldom appears in the public media,” said Fang Xingdong, an Internet observer, who also runs a hot blog to comment on events in the IT industry.

Neptone Yang, a Hong Kong media personnel, likes Xu’s blog because “she writes a little better than others in the actor/actress circle.”

Wang also admits that the celebrity’s fame, rather than content, attracts her to her blog.

“It will definitely boost the blog industry and make blogging more popular in China,” said Lu Weigang, an independent Internet analyst. “Blog is a kind of ‘grassroots’ culture, so (the celebrity’s blog) content will be close to the public.”

Through the celebrity’s blog, Wang hopes to see their pictures, including personal and family ones, during work or at home.

“If possible, I would like to see more photos of their family members,” Wang added.

Yang and Zhu Feng, a middle-aged woman who has also visited Xu’s blog, hoped to see the blogs of government officials including Chinese president Hu Jingtao and Shanghai’s mayor Han Zheng.

“If they are busy, their secretary can record their daily life,” Yang added.

Currently, no officials higher than ministry-level directors have blogs online.

“It will change as a blog is a nice platform for officials to send and receive voices from the public,” Fang said.

It is still a problem of how to protect one’s personal space’s domain name.

“Everyone has the equal right to use own names to register domain names. It is hard for us to solve the dispute with two people with same names even if one side is a celebrity,” said Liu Zhijiang, assistant director of China Internet Network Information Center, or CNNIC, the regulator of the domain name “cn.”

The latest example was that a Xu fan paid “several thousand” yuan to buy back Xujinglei.cn, which was registered previously.

“I am grateful to the fan and I will call him to say thank you tomorrow,” Xu said in her blog on March 10.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE

March 19, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 39 Comments