There are approximately 300 million internet users in China and it continues to rise to this day. The American research firm Pew Internet has concluded in a recent study that by the end of 2009, China will overtake the United States in number of Internet users. Internet titans like Yahoo, Microsoft, and Google have established their presence in the Mainland to tap their growing netcitizens by building headquarters in the country.
I have another blog that has been running since May of last year. Since that time, I have attracted some decent number of readers, mostly from the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Philippines. My recent analytic report stated that I have approximately 400+ visitors a day; not even a single click from China.
Because of this unusual statistic, I have decided to investigate. Apparently, China has been blocking many popular international websites such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Blogger. Yes, that’s right, blogger is blocked from Chinese viewership. Why? Because apparently, the Chinese Government does not want western culture to “pollute” the Chinese mind.
So, how can I be able to tap Chinese readers if my blog platform itself is censored by the Chinese government? I don’t really know. But there is a good news, and it started with a cyber attack against the web giant Google.
Recently, there is a controversy regarding Google and China. According to Google’s blog, the Chinese government has attempted to hack Google infrastructure to acquire information about Chinese dissidents living abroad. Hackers were able to retrieve partial subject lines from the e-mail accounts but was not able to get the body of the messages.
After the incident, Google fired back by issuing a statement on the company’s operation in China in its official web blog. They said that if the country continues to censor Google, the search giant will be forced to pull its operation out the the country.
If Google and China reaches a consensus about censorship issues, I think that there is a big chance that Blogger will be taken off the short list of blacklisted web sites. But if the negotiation fails, well, there goes my 300 million prospected blog readers.