Chinas erstes "Blogger-Imperium"
Wired News bringt einen Bericht über den Stand der kommerziellen Weblogisierung Chinas: Last month, when anti-Japanese sentiment in China had reached a fever pitch, Edwyn Chan conducted an experiment. Although most Chinese were aware that protest rallies were rumbling across the country -- kindled by a new Japanese textbook that purportedly whitewashes Japan's role in World War II -- keeping track of what was happening was next to impossible. The media in China are all or partially state-owned and toe the government's official position (which wasn't endorsing the protest movement but wasn't doing much to stop it either). The only way to find out was through internet forums, where people posted first-person accounts from their home cities, shared pictures or provided articles from foreign news organizations. Chan, who was raised in Hong Kong but today calls Chengdu, Sichuan, home, realized that doing anything that involves politics could mean trouble, but he also believed this was an opportunity to see whether blogs, which have not yet caught on in China, could translate. Within four days of launching kangri.blogku.com, he reached more than 10,000 people. He also drew the attention of the Gong An, the Chinese police in charge of monitoring the net. Instead of shutting him down, however, the Gong An told him if he wanted to continue he would have to remove the more heated posts, which he did. Not in keeping with the freewheeling, stand-up-to-authority ethos of the blogosphere in the West, but it sure beats prison. Now the 24-year-old Chan, who has a business degree from New York University, is hoping to build a blog empire in China. His model? None other than Nick Denton, the Rupert Murdoch (without the money) of the weblog set, who started the Gawker Network, operator of meanie gossip rag Gawker; Gizmodo, which feeds gadget lust; and Wonkette, the Dorothy Parker of the web set. Chan's media network already has three blogs up and running, including Dianziren, which covers consumer electronics; a humor blog called Shuanga; and Jiaexp, a site for gamers. He also has plans for two more: one for women that would be about beauty and cosmetics, the other he hopes could mimic Gawker (except it would be funny).