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Tuesday, November 18, 2003

The Muzimei Phenomenon and its Impact on the Chinese Internet

"These days, the whole Chinese internet is crazy about Muzimei! Thousands of people came to my personal blog and weciti.com through search engines using the following search words: “Muzimei photo”; “Muzimei..… Muzimei is the first Chinese girl who published in detail her sex life on the web. I think she will be the symbolic girl of modern chinese culture," Owen said in reply to my request for permission to translate a recent WECITI blog post on the Muzimei phenomenon in the chinese internet world.

Last week Blogcn.com, a major Chinese weblog hosting system, was brought down due to a sudden surge of traffic that was directed to Muzimei's blog on Blogcn.com. Many Chinese bloggers who had mentioned Muzimei in their blogs witnessed similar increase of traffic to their sites.

Who is Muzimei? How did she shake the Chinese Internet and society with her personal blog? Here are how chinese bloggers view her...

Gender: Female
Age: 25
Origins: Meizhou, Guangdong
Graduated from: Guangzhou Zhong San University
Profession: Magazine Editor
Height: 160 cm
Popularity: 5 Stars
Reasons for her rising fame: Writings on sexual experience

'Love Letters Left' is where Muzimei, a columnist writer at Guangzhou City Pictorial Magazine, documents her private life. Sex is the theme of her blog and love making is what motivates her blog. Muzimei has created her very own city of desire through the love letters she leaves on her blog.

It is difficult to imagine the influence and network effect that Muzimei's blog has on the Internet. Everyone she mentions could very well become famous overnight!

Major Chinese portals like SINA and SOHU have published special essays on Muzimei. Mainstream media has also brought her into the society, way beyond the limited blogger community she was previously in. Her love making partners have also had to face society because of this. That's why when the media asks to interview her, she would suggest: "(you) want an interview, make love first".

Her photo is already all over the Internet. This sexual emancipation practitioner has used the most shocking ways to show her sexual charms. Even in countries like America, where there is a long history of sexual emancipation, the behaviour she exhibits are at not all that common in the West. There are many discussions about Muzimei on the net. The hype of the human body, the sales of sex life, internet whore, and etc. There are all kinds of comments, ranging from critical, supportive, silent and to copy-cat like ones that emulated Muzimei's writings. Some would even say that Muzimei is the Internet version of Wei Wei (author of Shanghai Baby). With only a few years of (sexual) experiences under her belt, Muzimei talks bluntly about sex and love making. She uses actions to show us (what sex is all about). She has also sparked the subconsciousness of sexual emancipation in chinese society.

There is no question that Muzimei has a casual attitude towards sex. But her written words are honest. Her literature is sincere. She expresses what she wants to say, she accentuates the marginal culture in urban areas. These are truths that no one can dispute, Owen concludes in his blog post at WeCiti, a group weblog in simplified chinese.

"Clearly, I am on the side to support her. Sharing is good. Why people have to judge others behavior if it does not hurt anyone?" Jianshuo Wang, a Chinese blogger commented in his blog.

However, "Muzimei has released the name of the men who has ever slept with. This is bad. I believe a blog can reveal whatever you want to show about yourself, but not others," he added.

"Of cause people has the right to expose everything about him/herself. It is granted right. But people cannot hurt other's privacy by exposing other's personal information without other's agreement. I see the problem of Muzimei's blog as privacy probelm only."

Today, the Muzimei phenonmenon continues to generate commentaries and conversations all over the Chinese internet. Some Chinese bloggers like Sima ponders whether Muzimei has brought benefits or negative effects to the Chinese weblog world.

What is for sure is that this female journalist blogger has generated a huge number of eyeballs to the chinese weblog world, chinese media, and even Muzimei herself in a very short span of time. Already, Ron Shu Xia, an on-line publisher is lining up a (paid) book project for Muzimei according to Chinese blogger Zheng. Perhaps Muzimei will become another pioneer in the Chinese weblog world: the first Chinese blogger that has a business model.

Further Reading:
'Muzimei Shock Wave' by Jianshuo Wang
'Doggy Style in Guangzhou' where you can see a photo of Muzimei from November's simplified chinese edition of Marie Claire.

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