Some 17.5 million blogs are being published in China, according to new research from a local government-sponsored internet organisation.
China has around 75 million regular blog readers, representing slightly more than 61 percent of its online population of 123 million, the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) reported.
The actual number of people who have signed up with accounts at blogging services in China is even higher than these figures, reaching almost 34 million by the end of August this year, the CNNIC says.
However, half of these accounts have not yet been put into regular use by their owners. Such 'sleeping blogs' are a huge waste of Internet resources, the CNNIC arguedin a statement issued at the weekend.
Of the 17.5 million blogs that are in use, the CNNIC describes 7.7 million as 'active'. The organisation defines active blogs as those which are updated at least once a month.
At the current rate of growth, the number of active blogs in China will most likely exceed 10 million by the end of the year.
Globally, some 175,000 new blogs are being created every day, according to David Sifry, founder and chief executive of popular blog search site Technorati.
Technorati indexes blogs in many languages, including Chinese, and tracks more than 55 million blogs in total.
Chinese-language blogs make up some seven percent of Technorati's most popular blogs, indicating that Chinese is the second most popular blogging language after English.
The authors of most of these blogs appear to be based in China. Technorati's popularity rankings are based on the number of links to each blog, not the number of visitors.
According to Sifry's personal blog, some 12 percent of blog postings indexed by his company in June were in Chinese, making the language third most popular behind English and Japanese, which were used for 39 percent and 31 percent of postings respectively.
But Sifry noted that "there are some significant underreporting issues, especially in Korean and in French".
Combining CNNIC's research results with Technorati's assessment of the number of blogs worth indexing would suggest that at least 15 percent of the world's blogs are now Chinese.
CNNIC is a non-profit organisation set up by the Chinese government in 1997. It is administered by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and follows policy guidelines laid down by the Ministry of Information Industry.
Critics have accused the organisation of being over optimistic in its predictions of Internet growth in China.
Chinese bloggers top 17 million
By Simon Burns on Sep 28, 2006 10:22AM