Blogger Nation – Sarah Schafer
The phenomenon is itself a challenge to the old order. Since the communist revolution, Chinese writers have worked under the jurisdiction of writers’ associations, obligated to compose for the glory of the party. Now, for the first time, they are self-publishing in large numbers, and the state does not entirely control the flow of information. Many bloggers don’t consider themselves activists but insist they are changing the country for the better simply by engaging in open discussion.
Like China, everything about the phenomenon is big. At the end of last year, more than 30 million bloggers were registered across the country, more than double the number in 2004, according to Beijing-based research firm Analysys International. Of course, many of those are users who merely type hello and never blog again. But experts estimate that there are a few million active bloggers in China and that the number is growing rapidly. More than 100 firms provide blog services nationally, up from zero a few years ago. By comparison, the United States has anywhere from 15 million to 30 million active bloggers.