TABLE OF CONTENTS

Preface by Ying Chan

Lian Yue: the flexibility and tenacity of the hero of Xiamen PX — Blogging as a strategy in civil rights actions

Lian Yue, a freelance writer and columnist, emerged as a hero in the rights movement that gathered around opposition to a chemical project in the city of Xiamen in 2007. As the local government prepared to launch a major chemical plant in a residential area of Xiamen without the knowledge of most city residents, Lian Yue publicized the case through his blog and urged people to defend their rights through peaceful demonstration. The
 Xiamen government eventually postponed the PX project.

Ai Weiwei: In no man’s land — The art of remaking society through the personal weblog

Ai Weiwei is a famous Chinese artist and an outspoken social critic. Known to most in the West for his digitally-inspired sculpture and as a designer of Beijing’s Olympic stadium, the “Bird’s Nest,” Ai Weiwei is also a champion against injustice. In December 2008, seven months after the devastating earthquake in Sichuan, Ai entered the quake zone to gather information about students who had died as a result of shoddily built school buildings. Ai repeatedly published the results of his investigation into student deaths on three personal blog sites, all of which were eventually shut down by Chinese authorities.

Xu Zhiyong: all about action — a blogging force in a tide of civil rights actions

Lawyer Xu Zhiyong is a key figure in the rights defense arena in China. He was an important actor in the Sun Zhigang case, which in 2003 brought an end to China’s cruel system of detention and repatriation. As a law student that year, he wrote a petition to the People’s Congress calling for the abolition of China’s detention and repatriation law. Xu is now an active blogger, and most all of his blog entries are related to civil rights issues. Xu has defended Chinese petitioners illegally detained by police, and helped to organize parents whose children suffered the ill effects of poisoned milk in 2008.

Ran Yunfei: why so fierce? — The social conditions of fearless blogging

Ran is a bold and tireless blogger on current affairs issues. Since beginning of 2009, many of his China-based blogs have been shut down or blocked by authorities.

Tiger Temple: gazing past the peacock’s feathers — the adventures of citizen journalist at the grassroots

Tiger Temple’s blog, generally regarded as one of the most grassroots blogs in China, reveals the underside of Chinese society. Some have called Tiger Temple China’s first citizen journalist. One of his earliest reports, in November 2004, came after he witnessed a murder in Beijing’s Wangfujing district. In 2007, he traveled through China on his bicycle and documented the lives of China’s underprivileged. Tiger Temple later wrote about homeless people living around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, and even arranged temporary housing for them. In 2008, he wrote about the harsh living conditions faced by migrant workers building Olympic facilities.

Li Xiaoguai: pictures worth a thousand words — the life of a small-town blogger

Li Xiaoguai blogs his social commentary on current events through comics and caricatures, bitterly attacking the injustices of the day.

Qian Liexian: the king of inside gossip — How a blogger gets hold of the scoops and reports them

Qian has become famous among Chinese bloggers as his columns, with a nose for inside information, have been re-posted across the Web by others. He covers politics and current affairs.

Luo Yonghao: a blog service under seige — the path of Bullog.cn

Luo is the founder of Bullog.cn, a site synonymous with outspoken Chinee weblogs. Luo was forced to register the service overseas in 2007 when the site’s mainland license was revoked. The site was hosted in exile until April 2008, when it was reopened at its original URL.

Chang Ping: battling on the Internet after suffering Internet attack — Daily resistance of online slander and Internet mob behavior

Chang Ping is one of China’s leading journalists. His 2008 commentary, “Tibet: Nationalist Sentiment and the Truth,” unleashed an outpouring of hostility last year. Since then, he has been very active on the Internet. In this book, he shares his reflections on the attacks he has suffered from Internet users since his 2008 editorial.

Wu Jiaxiang: a sailor from the halls of Zhongnanhai — Blog commentary at its highest level

Wu is widely regarded as one of China’s most mature political critics. His years of experience within the halls of power in China gives his writing great accuracy and acuity on both domestic and international affairs. Among other issues, he has written about the dangers of rising populism.

Yang Hengjun: I am a democracy huckster — blogging as a gateway between inside and outside the system

Formerly a diplomat, Yang has experienced and intimately understands democracy as it works in the West. This has turned him into a staunch advocate of universal values. In addition to blogging, Yang writes spy novels which are popular among people from all walks of life, from party officials to migrant workers.

Sha Yexin: the final dancing stage — Blogging by an independent intellectual

Playwrite Sha Yexin is one of the oldest members of China’s blogging elite. Through his blog, which is full of humor and wisdom, Sha shares his experiences and observations on history with younger Chinese readers.

Zeng Jinyan: the cry of the persecuted — blogs as a cry for political rescue

The wife of imprisoned dissident activist Hu Jia, Zeng became famous for a blog she faithful kept to document her husband’s disappearance at the hands of China’s national security officers. After the imprisonment of her husband, Zeng continued to speak out on her blog, offering support to families experiencing similar injustices.

Zhang Ming: how a blogger finds his style — a blogger’s niche and liberal criticism

Zhang Ming, a professor of politics and history at Renmin University of China, is one of China’s premier academic bloggers. He is an outspoken critic of problems in China’s higher education system.

Wang Xiaofeng: the king’s carnival — blogging for the post-80s generation

Wang Xiaofeng’s blog is one of the most popular in China among young Internet users. Two-thirds of Wang’s readers are under the age of 30. He covers a range of social issues with a characteristic irreverence. When Time magazine dubbed him a “person of the year” in 2006, it wrote: “He might be the most respected blogger in China, precisely because he respects almost nothing.”

Zhai Minglei: China’s one-man newspaper — Me Media, journalism’s third road

The former founder and editor-in-chief of Minjian, an independent magazine for China’s nascent civil society, Zhai Minglei turned to blogging after his magazine and then its website were shut down by authorities. Zhai’s answer was 1bao.org, what he calls a “one-man newspaper”, posting independent reports from China’s grassrooots. One of his first stories was about a violent illegal land seizure in the village of Longquan. In the aftermath of the Sichuan earthquake, he also offered in-depth coverage of the issue of quake forecasting, which had been prohibited by the Central Propaganda Department.