Kato Yoshikazu (加藤嘉一), a journalist studying at Peking University’s School of International Studies, discusses the popularity of blogging in China in the current issue of Oriental Outlook. From Danwei.org:
Why are blogs so big in China? In my view, there are three main reasons:
First, the era of the Internet and the growth of netizens. China’s online population reached 253 million in 2007 and is currently around 300 million. Such a foundation provides unprecedented space for the growth and development of blogs. The growth potential for new media on the Internet is obvious when compared to traditional media like television and newspapers.
Second, the respect major Internet media have for blogs as tools as evidenced by their active construction of blogging platforms.
Third, blogs satisfy the information needs of Chinese readers, who are new media consumers. Speaking of the demands of readers, European, American, and Japanese readers particularly enjoy reading the findings of independent journalism: political scandals or major corporate fraud, for example. However, my own investigations have shown that Chinese readers seem to be more excited about various perspectives on major social issues and problems. Perhaps you could call the former an attention to detail, while the latter is a propensity for the big picture.