New Threat! Water Armies All Across China

The Water Army is Coming!

Although they  sound like a new villain from a Hollywood movie, they are less scary in person. They are soldiers of propaganda, using whatever free-speech tools they can muster to win the hearts and minds of a voting public. But this is not a political tale, rather, it is a commercial one; and the votes are cast with Ren Min Bi (Chinese Yuan).

So, where does this “Water Army” come from? In fact, it is a Chinese term which has been causing difficulties for consumer protection around the Chinese Internet.  Imagine you go to a forum online and look for information about insurance, a new car, or even a toaster. Hundreds or thousands of these soldiers are hired for cheap, usually ¥0.7 RMB ($.01) per post, and begin a campaign to sway public opinion toward or against various products. In a country where the average worker makes 20-25RMB ($3) per hour, it is economically feasible for Water Armies to exist. Continue reading New Threat! Water Armies All Across China

Funny Chinese Blogosphere

Living in China is full of reasons to laugh everyday. Its just so different! Sometimes the differences get old, but there is always room for more laughter. Until recently, there was no way for a Westerner to even understand a smidgen of what I’m talking about until China Smack and China Hush came around. (I personally find China Smack more entertaining…) More social commentary can be found at the China Beat too.

The Internet is one big, open web but in many parts of the world it is not. There is a national firewall in China and other dictatorial states in the world have their own Internet. North Korea has its own Internet too. However, for outsiders looking in, there is still a lot for us to read and discuss; much more than we would have thought in the early-90s. So, go ahead, and enjoy the mini-blogospheres of the world!