--- Das Webmagazin Salon berichtet über die chinesische Bloggerszene: Typical of Chinese bloggers -- of bloggers everywhere, really -- is Wu Chen, or "Dora," a 19-year-old college student in Hangzhou, China, studying management and business. She began blogging a year ago, after learning about it from an American teacher. Her posts -- about her bicycle being stolen, or being upset to discover another girl in her class is wearing the same new shirt -- are politically neutral, and tend to focus instead on her personal day-to-day life. "It gives readers a window into my life, thoughts, feelings and experiences," said Dora via e-mail. "Visitors exchange ideas. It increases an understanding between people from different cultures across the world." Of the English-language blogs Salon surveyed -- and there are quite a few -- most avoided politics. A lot of these, like Dora, are students practicing their English. Others have a chatty LiveJournal meets Hello Kitty feel. Xiao Qiang, director of the China Internet Project at the University of California at Berkeley and recipient of a MacArthur fellowship for his human rights work, attributes some of this reticence to an interest the Chinese digital class has, consciously or not, in preserving the status quo. ... Last June, a 25 year-old journalist named Li Li posted a story to her blog, written under the nom de guerre Mu Zimei, about a tryst she had with a famous Chinese rock star. She followed up with tales of numerous one-night stands and sexual encounters, shocking a country not accustomed to talking about such things openly. Li Li did for blogs in China what Janet Jackson did for nipple shields in the United States. And like Jackson, she outraged and titillated an entire nation. Sina.com, the largest Chinese Internet portal, posted her stories online, and a full third of China's then-Internet population -- some 20 million users -- logged on to read them. By November, Chinese censors moved to ban both her site and her book. But by that point, the whole country was talking about blogs, and scores of young, tech-savvy Internet users began to set up sites of their own. Blogging's growth in China is also directly, and somewhat paradoxically, related to the efforts of government censors.


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