Close

Support Global Voices

To stay independent, free, and sustainable, our community needs the help of friends and readers like you.

Donate now »

See all those languages up there? We translate Global Voices stories to make the world's citizen media available to everyone.

Learn more about Lingua Translation  »

Chinese bloggers react to registration deadline

Laohumiao (老虎庙) at 24HoursOnline describes his frustrating efforts to figure out whether and how he should register, given that his blog is hosted on Blogbus, which is registered as his blog's host domain. (Laohumiao's blog is thus a subdomain, at http://24hour.blogbus.com.) According to our recent interview with Isaac Mao, who is an investor in Blogbus, Laohumiao doesn't need to register because the blog hosting service is registered and is also required to comply with government filtering and censorship requirements anyway. (So in other words, if the government asks Blogbus to take down Laohumiao's blog, Blobus must comply.)

But Laohumiao says that when he made inquiries with the relevant departments in the Shanghai city government and the Ministry of Information Industry, which issued the registration requirements and is administering the applications, he got a range of contradictory answers. At the end he was told by one young woman he reached on the phone at the MII in Beijing that blog hosting services as well as all their sub-blogs must ALL register. Then he called the person who runs the Shanghai office in charge of registering Shanghai-based sites. The person said: “信产部热线是怎么搞的?为什么这样解释呢?我要去电话,子域名登什么记呀!” (Loose translation since the colloquialisms don't translate: “What's the deal with the MII? Why are they giving that explanation? I'm going to call them. Sub-domains don't have to register!”)

Gotta love Chinese bureaucratic disconnects. I've heard from some Chinese bloggers who hope to slip through the cracks of bureaucratic confusion.

As we pointed out in Friday's roundup, Wang Jianshuo has applied for a registration number for his blog, but is still awaiting a response from the authorities.

For what it's worth, when surfing Chinese blogs over the past week, I've been running across a lot of blogs with registration numbers on them.

Blogging in China is certainly not dead. In fact, according to this report, the blog hosting company BlogChina plans to list on the Nasdaq.

In response to my questions to Chinese bloggers about how internet filtering affects them and other Chinese internet users, I got a variety of answers.

People guess that somewhere between 1-5% of Chinese internet users know how to use proxies. Some think that those who know how to use them are likely to do so, while others think that even those who know how to use proxies don't bother very much because it's such a nuisance and time-consuming.

At CNblog, calon points out that the real problem has less to do with people's ability to access information, but their ability to pass it on to other people.

MadeinJune points us to a PDF paper written in Chinese on “China's superficial online democracy“. I haven't read the whole thing yet but it sounds like a great translation project for somebody to take on.

There is a good comment on the importance of bulletin boards and how censorship impacts them.

Williamlong, who has run websites himself, says that when a site's IP address is blocked in China it loses 99% of its traffic and when its domain name is filtered it loses 100% of its traffic.

Ken says that when a site gets blocked that can often create buzz and interest about the site, causing people to learn how to use proxies. But he also thinks that government filtering policies do result in an information imbalance.

Blogger ZhiZhaiTianKong (止斋天空) (blog legally registered in Jiangsu) says my questions are well meaning but show lack of understanding of the Chinese people. He recommends I should have more contact with people who live in China. He says “we can't and don't need to access all information” and he doesn't feel that he is prevented from saying what he wants.

5 comments

  • short sunday links

    Headlines you don’t often see China Threatens Iceland. (via Iceland News blog). The infamous revisionist Japanese history textbook is now online in Chinese and Korean. China’s state security officials are always thinking two steps ahead. More evidenc…

  • Another outlet to get some of these stories told to thousands of college students: stories, narratives, debates, features–send them our way. Submission@internationalistmag.com

  • […] these communities. We hope you will help us change that. For examples of bridge-blogging, here’s a post I did summarizing Chinese blogger reaction to the registratio […]

  • […] Now Chinese Bloggers are facing a serious problem of where to blog, especially those who want to speak freely. More and more foreign BSPs are being blocked, such as Blogsome, Typepad and Blogspot. Almost all the BSPs in Mainland China have a rigid system of censoring “bad words” which are considered to be politically or pornographically sensitive. If hosted on independent domain server, the blogger need to register their personal information. For blogger who wants to blog freely and securely, they can resort to “Adoptablog” program. […]

  • Can’t find a trackback address here, so leave a link:
    http://richardh.512j.com/?p=103

    I need to do my registeration now.

Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »

Guidelines

  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.