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China Sees Dramatic Increase in Blogs in 2007 — Important Development for Health Care

by Fred Fortin

The China Internet Network Information Center(CNNIC) reports that by the end of November 2007, China had almost 73 million blog “spaces” and 47 million bloggers. “By the end of 2006, the number of blog writers was 17.5 million, and within one year the increase reached nearly 30 million, indicating the large-scale growth in number of the blog writer group,” according to the CNNIC report.

While health care is not specifically mentioned, the report goes on to say that blogs cover “almost all the areas of people’s daily life, including the cultural, military, economic, tourist, living areas, etc.” and has become an “important channel for people to obtain information.”

We know that in the West internet use to obtain health information is major activity, with blogs becoming a serious source of consumer information and empowerment. Blogs, especially bridge blogs (those that translate information from one language to another), are critical entry points in developing countries where people can gain access to health information on a global scale. Just as important is that the reverse is also possible; the growth of these blogs also gives the West an opportunity to connect and interact with what I would call ‘local communication and health care leadership’.

Now there’s a great idea: Could a blog or internet service aggregate connections to those local blogs in such a way as to facilitate health care communications directly between East and West? Sort of a ‘Global Voices’ for health care? Consumers to consumers? Doctors to doctors?


[…] my complete post over at the World Health Care Blog. Posted in Blog news, China, Healthcare, WorldHealthCareBlog. […]

  Arthur wrote @ December 29th, 2007 at 1:28 am

Wordpress and Blogger outputs are blocked in mainland China so Chinese users can only choose BSP such as Sohu and Sina for blogging. As there controls through the Internet service in PRC, inappropriate contents in the web logs would be erased without warning.Individual blog is not workable in this country for it’s easily GFWed by Internet supervisors.
I seldom find valuable healthcare topic blogs in China. The so called health blogs are bussinese marketing sites for drugs or disease curing from private hospitcals. As there are rare visitors and disscussion, physicians post there personal life while record medical work in there blogs.
There is still a long way for health care web 2.0 in China.

  Alfred J. Fortin wrote @ December 30th, 2007 at 5:53 pm

I’ve following these developments for a while, both language and censorship are certainly main obstacles to better interaction. Language challenges can be handled over time. Censorship is another issue altogether. From Edward Cody of the Washington Post:

“More than 30,000 censors are employed to monitor the Internet alone, specialists estimate. They are equipped with advanced technology to block sensitive sites and sound the alarm when words deemed off-color or politically incorrect show up on the screen. The system, part of a vast apparatus extending to newspapers, theaters and art galleries, remains part of life for most people in a China otherwise modernizing at breakneck speed.”

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