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Trends of blogging in China.

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."

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June 16, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments