Stock market analysis site Seeking Alpha‘s China section has a summary of research on Chinese blogs done by China Market Research, a group in Shanghai. CMR estimates that 80% of Chinese online urban youth 18-25 (50 million people) are actively blogging OR participating in BBS. Add in another 25 million between the ages of 25-35 and you’ve got 75 million creating a vibrant — and expanding — online public sphere.
Note that of the major blog portals, only two (blogcn and bokee) are blogging-specific sites. The CMR article points out that Sina and Sohu only launched blog applications late last year but have quickly leveled with more established blog portals. The existence of multiple blogging and BBS portals with different economic and political positioning allows room for a variety of editorial decisions about what will be published online. In other words, Virtual China is an unprecedented domain for the creation and dissemination of diverse voices.