What the World Would Look Like If Countries Were As Big As Their Online Populations
“中联网之路”（Road to the Cinternet）系列之——
As Google’s abrupt leaving from China, the splitting of the Internet seems faster and faster. I think the following ten websites can lead observers understanding the Chinese Internet. All of them survived China’s censorship, and are developing rapidly. Compare to the websites that has been blocked (that I listed on Wednesday here), they are the real main stream for the over 400 million Chinese netizens.
First of all, They are all in Chinese, and seldom provide multi-language service. This might be the obstacle for the English speaking researchers, but it can also be regarded as the first typical character of Chinese website – not because of the censorship, but because of the population. The formation of a separate "Sub-internet" needs a big enough population.
There are many great blogs and websites reporting Chinese Internet (Cinternet hereinafter), such as Danwei, Shanghainist, Gokunming, etc. But if one wants to understand the trend of Cinternet, the following websites, as well as a little Chinese, plus some translation tools are necessary.
In my view, when we are talking about the Cinternet, the targets should be the "plain" websites, not those pioneer ones. Each of the following websites is crowded with millions of users, and all of them survived the censorship and/or self-censorship. The core/column of the Cinternet should be based on them but not those obviously unsurvivable ones. For example, a research to Chinese bloggers should focus on not only the independent or even blocked bloggers, but also the mainstream in those highly controlled blog services.
1. http://www.QQ.com (Alexa China 2; world 11; on Jan 15th 2010, the same below)
The top website in China according to Alexa in Jan. 2010. And it has almost all kinds of web application including blog (blog.qq.com), game (qqgame.qq.com), news, sns (qzone.qq.com), search engine (soso.com), micro-blog, C2C (www.paipai.com), and most importantly, Instant Message (im.QQ.com). Almost each Chinese netizen has a QQ number. the number of the accounts has exceeded 900 million in 2007, and the active users were over 400 millions in 2008. Then they only publish the number of concurrent online users – this number exceeds 80 millions on Oct. 10th 2009, and exceeded 90 millions two months later.
From Google.cn, to G.cn, to Chinese name Guge, this Internet giant tried to fit its size and pose to the bottle of censorship, while it still can not afford the conflict of the values. In 2009, it has been blocked from access, humiliated for spreading porn and accused for copyright infringement. Finally, Google expressed its value in a direct, as well as not Chinese, way.
When I heard this news yesterday, the first thing what I did was to save the page of Google.cn. It may be dead soon.
Following a tweet, people gathered and present flowers to Google Beijing office (click here for more, and the latest report is: along with flowers and candles, a book 1984 by George orwell joined the gifts for sacrifice):
Twitter is blocked in China, but yesterday the Chinese twitters made tag #GoogleCN climbed to the top ten of twitter’s keywords. It is a bit touching, and a bit hopeful – A profitable, foreign company get this means filtering and block still not make Chinese people (at least some of them) losing their eyesight and judgment to what is good and what is bad.
There is a big chain restaurant company who named itself Eatool. Based in Amilina (a country allowing people eat almost everything except small chicken), Eatool provides delicious meats, including pork, beef and adult chicken. At the same time, it also sells dishware and other stuffs in each of its restaurants.
Few years ago, Eatool opened a new restaurant in Cinet, a country where the king forbid selling pork, as well as chicken.
Personally, Eatool’s boss loves pork, but he knows that selling pork in their Cinet restaurant means shut down the business including the dishware. So they hired Cinet people run the restaurant in Cinet, and restricted themselves from selling pork. At the same time, Eatool sells dishware to Cinetizens.