Blogging first became quite popular in China in 2003 when there was a notorious intimate diary about a young woman, Muzi Mei that created a buzz on China’s online platforms. There has been a significant growth in the Chinese internet users growing up to 668 million users in 2015 from 1.2 million users in 1998, while blogs have mushroomed to 474 million in 2015 from 500,000 in 2002.
Thanks to the popularization of the Internet in the 90’s and blogging in the 2000’s, people are no longer subjected to party-state control over broadcast and printed media which ensured that only views from the selected few would spread nationwide. Today, the internet provides almost half of the Chinese population with an affordable and user-friendly platform to circulate information, exchange views and even develop a friendship over common concerns.
A blog offers a platform to get information and the most popular Chinese blogs have become quite resourceful in providing information about China and the Chinese, especially to foreigners who would love to get as much authentic information about the country as possible. There is a myriad of Chinese bloggers ranging from Chinese travel bloggers and Chinese fashion bloggers to Chinese business bloggers and bloggers targeting foreigners (laowai). As a foreigner, it gets quite overwhelming when trying to figure out which is the most authentic and popular blog in China. Below is a list of blogs about China which are scoring quite highly with foreigners put into consideration. The data was based on Alex rankings, public reviews, comments, and praises about them.
This blog was founded in July 2008 and started just as a personal project of a young Shanghainese girl Fauna, who was motivated by her desire to improve her English language skills by translating Chinese video, pictures and stories that were quite popular online. Today, chinaSMACK is the most successful and popular blog, always trafficked, and frequently cited among the English-language group blogs which cover a nation undergoing unprecedented development.
chinaSMACK takes pride in being the blog with the largest number of users in the whole world. It focuses on sharing translated news and topics that are being talked about by the mainstream Chinese netizens. The content is sensational, edgy, and controversial. Its editorial mission is basically to make the Chinese content readily available to individuals who can’t read Chinese in a minimally edited raw format so that the readers can draw their own conclusions. It is very active, garners millions of comments, and is quite popular in the foreigner-Ville.
ChinaHush was first created for personal reasons by Key just as a way to record his adventures and what was learnt about China so as to share the information with the rest of the people interested in China. This blog selects content from Chinese blogs, websites, and BBC sites and are translated into English so that other people who can’t read Chinese enjoy the content too. They majorly focus on current issues, controversial issues, shocking, inspiring or even sad information and also fun and entertaining information.
This blog provides a platform for people to learn about Chinese lifestyles, trends, cultures and all that the Chinese people are talking about including the current memes. Its mission is to develop a community of individuals with a common interest in China.
Chinawhisper was founded in 2010 by a Beijing native, Peter Wang who discovered when working in a China inbound tourism company that foreigners always wanted to learn a lot about the Chinese history, culture, and life. Chinawhisper offers the readers with random top ten lists about anything and everything in China including culture, history, lifestyle, and so much more. It gives fascinating gems of knowledge about China with well-researched factual lists and promises to teach you something new.
Ministry of Tofu was founded in October 2010 with the goal of boosting mutual understanding between China and the rest of the world. It is passionate about translating Chinese articles and bringing the world up to speed with what’s going on in China. This blog has such an interesting design and covers very interesting content about China.
5. Lost Laowai
Lost Laowai was founded in 2006, and it’s tailor-made for expatriates or travelers with a deep interest in China. It blogs about living, traveling, working, and teaching in China. It’s more of a guide to help “laowai” navigate the foreign land of China. It’s unique, resourceful, and offers the most relevant opinions, travel guide, blogging, expat events, and expat news.
This is an instructional blog that was designed to help other expatriates in the Middle Kingdom find answers and overcome obstacles. It was created to offer some sensibility and interesting insights to the China phenomenon. Its mission is to humbly offer solutions and views on everything and anything related to China.
What Chinasimplified does is untangle the noodles for you, not literally but something close to that. It explores the history, language, and more in quick-read engaging formats making China and culture super-accessible for a busy world. It focuses on relevant information not only about culture and history but business too.
This website provides various services and information for both China-based expats and international visitors. It offers exclusive and very useful content about travel, life, and business in China.
This is an entertainment website and free monthly listing produced by True Run Media in Beijing, China. This website has more than 240,000 users that are registered and slightly over 1,000 unique online visitors. It is the most active website among expats and foreigners in China.
This website is owned by a popular travel agency in China. This site is quite reliable and offers China travel information on attraction, transportation, shopping, dining, accommodations and destinations. It has quite useful information on travel.
Blogging is big in China and each day there is a rise in more trustworthy and informative blogs. Increased internet user penetration and use of smartphones have significantly impacted the lifestyles of people in China and social media platforms have greatly increased the amount of information available to users and businesses. The digital space is hugely dominated by websites and blogs that are quite resourceful. The above are just some of the blogs (and a few websites) that you should look out for if you need to learn more about China.
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