Twenty Most Influential Figures in China’s Cyberspace

In the post-Olympics China, another round of media crackdown is clearly underway. Still, the Southern Metropolis Weekly just profiled 20 of the most influential bloggers and commentators in China’s cyberspace, who possess considerable power in shaping public opinions in the country, translated by CDT’s Linjun Fan:

“A whole new world of expression and influencing public opinion has come to China with the spread of the Internet. The Internet provides people in China an unprecedented platform to express themselves, a place that’s boundless and centerless, and has brought about an explosion of personal expression.

Traditional elites in the Chinese society can no longer monopolize the power to shape public opinion, as ordinary citizens and anonymous bloggers are becoming more and more influential in online forums and blogs.

One can no longer ignore the boisterous opinions posted on the Internet, because they are powerful enough to bring significant change to the real world.

A group of opinion leaders stands out among the sea of bloggers and commentators on the Internet. Some of them were originally well-known intellectuals, and their influence has been expanded by the Internet. Some of them were not known to the public at all, but the Internet has given them an opportunity to reach an audience of tens of millions.

They come from a variety of professions, ranging from business executives to employees, from officials to scholars, from professors to freelancers. But they belong to the single community of netizens when they express their opinions on the Internet.
  
We have selected 20 of them as representatives in order to paint a collective portrait of the influential figures in China’s Internet era.

Those selected are active on the Internet, are well-known to the public and possess a considerable amount of power in influencing public opinion.

They are different from traditional intellectuals not only in the tools they use — instead of pen and paper, they use keyboards and web pages — but also in their style of writing. They are much more personal and casual…

They are put into six categories, based on the subject and style of their writings:
Public Enlightenment: He Weifang, Li Yinhe, Xiao Han, Wang Shuya;
Criticism on the Establishment: Song Zude, Han Han, Fang Zhouzi;
Satire: Tao Tie, Qian Liexian, Wang Xiaofeng, Hecaitou;
General Commentary: Shiniankancai, Wuyuesanren, Lian Yue, An Ti, Yang Hengjun;
Rebellious: Mu Zi Mei, Luo Yonghao;
Business & Economics: Han Zhiguo, Ren Zhiqiang. ”