China uncensored: Rise of the microblogs

In a timely matter, a right on target article magically appeared today on the BBC’s website titled “Can China control social media revolution?”.  Click here for link.

Photo below of Beijing’s Forbidden City in the smog.

In a nutshell, the article discusses the rise of the homegrown Chinese Twitter/Facebook-like options such as Sina Weibo (Weibo meaning microblog), which are rapidly overtaking the Chinese internet in the midst of a fight between internet censorship and the freedom of speech.

Per Wikipedia, Sina Weibo is a:

Chinese microblogging (weibo) website. Akin to a hybrid of Twitter and Facebook, it is one of the most popular sites in China, in use by well over 30% of Internet users, with a similar market penetration that Twitter has established in the USA.   It was launched by SINA Corporation on 14 August 2009, and has more than 250 million registered users as of October 2011.

Sina Weibo implements many features from Twitter. Yet, users must post with a 140-character limit which isn’t much given the expansive format of the Chinese language.  Users may also post emotions (via symbols), as well as photographs and documents (which could be a big concern for the Chinese government in the event that the document is regarding leading a protest!).

The Chinese government is trying to control and censor the growth of these microblogs yet it remains unclear how long it will be possible to do so.

Anyway, a fascinating article that hit home about my most recent post regarding China’s censorship of the internet.  Fellow bloggers, there is hope!

Stay tuned…I have downloaded all my pictures and believe it or not, I have over 800 photos from just 10 days in China!  It is hard to believe but I remembered to bring my third-eye.  Thus, it will take me a few days to sort through them and resume my posting process on China. I am really excited to share with you what I’ve found.  It was such an amazing, contradictory place.  I have so many stories, and so many photos to share.  Thanks for reading and commenting!  I have read every comment yet am a bit behind in responding.  Thanks for your patience.


    • I agree 100%. Yet what was so fascinating was to see how the government continues to crack down hard on these microblogs as well as other people who speak out. You wonder how long it can last. What else is so fascinating is the Chinese people’s interpretions of events such as the takeover of Tibet and Tian. Square. It is totally incorrect yet it is what the government told them via censored media. Incredible! More on that later….

  1. Fascinating post, especially as someone who has lived in a country that blocks a site like Facebook. When I was there WordPress was available, but I don’t know now. Thanks for sharing the link. I will take a look!

    Hope you are recovering from your jetlag.


    • Interesting. So Vietnam is similar I guess. I found all this censorship stuff to be extremely interesting. I do wonder what the future will hold for China. Just the other day a Tibetan nun set herself on fire, protesting the Chinese rule of Tibet. Yet of course this wasn’t anywhere in the chinese news. It is such a land of contradictions.
      The jet lag is terrible, especially since I have no time to rest with the kids who keep me insanely busy. I feel like it is getting harder to recover as I get older. Not sure if it is true or if it is just the huge time difference.

  2. Interesting post but not surprised at the censorship. I wonder how long it will go on for. I took 2000 photos in one day at a Guatemalan horse race last week so 800 in 10 days seems very few!!! So looking forward to reading more on your trip and seeing your photos. Good luck with the jet lag! I think it gets harder with age, just like hangovers!

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