A Party Girl Leads China’s Online Revolution

In early July, a Shanghai blogger introduced herself to China as an aspiring “Web cam dance girl”. Today, the 25-year old Communist Party member is regarded as the most popular blogger in China – thousands of avid fans tune in for her provocative dances and ironic political commentary – and one of the pioneers in a trend that is challenging government censorship. Chinese Web logs have exploded in popularity in past months, following increasing broadband availability and a commercial push by Internet providers. Current estimates of the number of active blogs range from one to two million, a figure that is bound to increase further. Though the Chinese government strictly limits freedom of expression online, Internet censors can hardly keep up with the massive expansion. The bloggers are not only providing a space for public discussion and understated political commentary, but also supplying their readers with foreign news outside of the carefully controlled Chinese media. With such tools available to allow anonymous speech, will the Chinese authorities be able to retain control over public discourse? – YaleGlobal

A Party Girl Leads China’s Online Revolution

Howard W. French
Friday, November 25, 2005

Click here for the original article on The New York Times website.

© Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

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