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Internet ghostwriters, team-buying and more: China's new media in 2010

English.news.cn   2011-01-05 08:58:51 FeedbackPrintRSS

INTERNET GHOSTWRITERS

"The Internet Ghostwriters," or "Wang Luo Shui Jun" in Chinese, refers to people who write threads with particular content or ideas at the request of public relationship groups in order to influence more people with their agenda.

These practices often result in privacy violations or damaged reputations on the Internet.

China's Tort Liability Law, which took effect in July last year, stipulates that in cases of privacy violations or damaged reputations, the victim has the right to inform the Internet service provider (ISP) to delete harmful postings and that the ISP must face joint liability for damages if it fails to act.

Experts have urged the supervision to focus on those public relationship companies or sellers who employ online ghostwriters, and thus stop the problem at its source.

TEAM-BUYING

China's group purchasing websites experienced rapid development in 2010 when Wang Xing, founder of twitter-like "fanfou.com," established meituan.com, the mainland's first group purchasing website.

The potentially lucrative business model of online team-buying websites are also taking in more revenues, as shown by the number of such websites, which more than doubled to about 900 in July, according to figures from a Beijing-based Internet analysis firm, Analysys International.

Despite the large number of existing competitors, most of them being small- and medium-sized firms in the market, three of China's four major portal websites launched their own online team-buying services in July.

While online team-buying will likely attract many more Chinese netizens, insiders also warn that, as a new consumption channel, team-buying lacks the supervision of laws and regulations, and customers should be cautious.

SOCIAL NETWORKING

In the latter half of 2010, China's social networking websites entered a downturn with many small-size sites being closed. Even the leading kaixin001.com had to accept the fact of its decreasing daily visits.

The embarrassing fact came to light in a situation where a number of Chinese netizens did not grasp the essence of social networking, but only indulged themselves in games, such as stealing vegetables from friends' farms.

Also, many users in social networking sites were said to be only interested in other people's private information, while being reluctant to share their own information.

Networking itself is not the goal. What these websites should do is to create their own innovative products that can help netizens achieve more value through networking, media experts warned.

GOVERNMENT WEBSITES

In 2010, it has become a trend for the government to collect the public's opinions and let them voice their concerns on the internet.

However, a staggering 78.5 percent of some 450,000 Chinese citizens surveyed were unsatisfied with government websites, according to a 2010 report.

These respondents complained that some government websites were not updated for long periods and netizens' messages were often ignored. Also, many services and pages were not accessible.

People's rights to know, supervise and participate can be protected via the Internet and the credibility of the governments can be improved. But in order to fully explore this high-tech shortcut, the country's governments at all levels still have a long way to go.

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Editor: Mo Hong'e
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