China targets foreigners through expat websites

China News Stories

For many years, China have used paid contributors on internet forums to shape commentary in favour of China, and to belittle the west (China’s government hires people to distort web conversations).

These contributors are known in Chinese as wumao, and often create elaborate fraudulent identities. Now they have taken it a step further, by creating fictitious expat websites, and taking over established ones.

Controlling expat media is nothing new to China. They did it to Mark Kitto with his highly successful expat magazines (You’ll never be Chinese” by Mark Kitto), a magazine I used to write for. When the Chinese management forcibly seized it from him, they told me to write less favourably about the west, and more favourably about China. I refused, and moved on.

It was similar when I worked for eChinacities. My final story was edited to delete references to the fact that…

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About OyiaBrown

Please send me, as a comment to this page, any old material you have for inclusion in The Daily Joke Alert - to help enable us all to have our fancy tickled regularly! Never mind the state it's in as I tidy everything up prior to publication. Don't let good material go to waste - and so much does. In the interests of the environment we should always try to re-cycle everything, especially jokes. You know that makes sense! You may find some historical stuff here, but this does not really matter as humor is fairly timeless.

1 thought on “China targets foreigners through expat websites

  1. I am one member of ZSRenn and publish my thoughts and comments regarding China as an individual under my actual given name Len Philp. They do not reflect the thoughts of the other members of the site as a whole or as individuals! I am a 9th generation Australian and I am an Australian citizen. Although I have lived in China for 7 years I voted in the 2007 and 2010 elections and intend to vote in 2013

    I ask the readers of this article to come over and visit and have a look, as membership is not compulsory, although more features can be gained through membership. As it is a social interaction site and in it’s history has had it’s members spammed on multiple occasions. I have put safe guards in place to protect the members from spam. These safeguards are no more intrusive than joining Facebook and I feel are necessary to maintain a healthy social environment.

    In 2009 ZSRenn was founded, by accident, when Facebook was banned in China. I needed to have somewhere to display my pictures and words about China for friends and family to see. At the time the Ning platform, with its server in the USA, was free of charge and it was a relatively easy thing to do. Many friends had noticed what I was doing and asked if they could join. We needed a name! ZSRenn is short for Zhong Shan Ren sounded Jong Shan Ren or translated “People of Zhongshan.” as the URL for zsren was owned, and the guy wanted crazy money for it, we found ZSRenn. Since then ZSRenn has grown, however, I think it is still only rated as the 7,127,256 most popular site on the web. Local businesses asked if they could promote their bars and restaurants and we maintain a community feel for our small city.

    We had been members of other social websites in the past and found these to be places which were dominated by a small crowd of, usually men, whose attitude was “we were her first. who the F^*k are you.’ We did not want this to be the case for ZSRenn and moderate to that commitment. Usually to the derision of those that have been banned for such behavior.

    ZSRenn does operate within China, serving as a social hub for the people of Zhongshan and foreigners who visit. Our motto is “Zhongshan Ren come from China and the Globe. ZSRenn is here to bring all Zhongshanese closer together.” Being a social hub it remains apolitical and is moderated as such. The front page has the news feed from the China Daily Newspaper and from a teachers recruitment company. Many members inside either on their own page or in the groups that have formed, have news feeds from their particular country, in their own language. ZSRenn is not just for English speakers but for the multitude of languages that reside within our town. The most prominent being Chinese.

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