ChinaHush one year anniversary review, and submit your stories!


Hello everyone, I don’t often write to you guys other than the occasional comments on my posts, but I am excited because as for last week ChinaHush has been up for a year now!  Although I did not blog consistently until July of last year I posted my first blog post on January 25, 2009.  I still remember, it was 2009 Chinese new year.  I want to give a brief highlight of the blog posts in the past year, in case you joined us late, don’t miss these posts!


The first post“HD90” Counterfeit RMB 100 Yuan Bills in Circulation Causes Panic January 25th, 2009 by Key a01

I didn’t know what to blog when I first started, I remember I was eating lunch with my dad during Chinese new year and he said “be careful of counterfeit RMB when you go to China, recently there have been many of them circulating.” So I went online and did a search…
Large quantity of “High quality” 100 Yuan counterfeit RMB (Chinese currency) appeared in Guangdong, Shanghai, Beijing, Hunan, Hubei, Zhejiang and many other provinces. The serial number for this counterfeits starts with HD90.


The best post: Amazing Pictures, Pollution in China October 21st, 2009 by Key


Pollution in China, I was so surprised about how many people cared in the world!  This is undoubtedly the best blog post of the year! It was viewed by over 500,000 unique visitors in 204 countries with over 510,000 page views. As for today it had 4,254 retweets on twitter and 1,421 comments. Need not say more, if you haven’t read it, it is worth a look!


The first linked post: Shanghai 13 Story Building Collapse June 28th, 2009 by Key


This is my first blog post that got linked!  I was so excited when I found out about the links in several other websites.




Most debated: “U.S. threat theory” and how we talk about threats 
December 20th, 2009 by CC 20091220-1

I was so glad when CC joined ChinaHush. In my opinion this is one of the best written and researched and sited article last year. The intriguing topic stirred up some debates.  More people care about military and politics than I thought.

“China threat theory” vs. “US threat theory

Best commented: Shanghai Black Girl Lou Jing September 1st, 2009 by Key 20090901-black-girl-01

This maybe not be the most commented post, but the Lou Jing story had been sensational.   It was one of the few local sensations that spread to the western media. The story is about racism and infidelity, however the comments are most interesting to me because it also reveled many readers’ own racism in their different cultures.

The Wackiest | Worst commented: Mystery woman in black behind Obama at the town hall meeting becomes popular and speaks out November 24th, 2009 by Key


Remember her? the mystery girl at the Obama town hall meeting.  I often wonder what makes a good story.  This post stunned me and redefined my thinking… Her story got so hot not only every single Chinese media covered it, many major western media reported the incident as well.  My post was even linked by Huffington Post, then some Brazilian site, and check out all the comments left but the Brazilians on my site.


Most “attractive” to press: “Taiwan would like to know, do you know?"20091130-cross-strait-11

November 30th, 2009 by Key

More reputable press seem to love this post.  Because of this I had the pleasure to work with France 24 International News  and WIRED Magazine.  I was also asked to talk about this via webcam on France 24 Observer TV show.


The coolest: Family Portraits of all 56 ethnic groups in China
20091205-ethnic-01 December 6th, 2009 by CC

Check out these family portraits, I bet you didn’t know there are 56 ethnic groups in China! “Harmonious China: A Sketch of China’s 56 Ethnicities.” The team spent one year travelling all over China to complete the project. They ended up taking over 5.7 million photographs. 
And this is the first and the only time my post made on the front page of Fark. (I wish i took a screen shot of that)


The best video: Hot Chinese Animated Film “See Through” September 27th, 2009 by Key


An animated video called “See Through” (“打,打个大西瓜” direct translation is “Hit, Hit the big watermelon”)
VeryCD webmaster gave his review “This is the most awesome animated short film I have ever seen, Chinese production!”
Most impressively, the maker of “See Through” spent 3 and half years in his bedroom to create this 16 minute long cartoon.


Most liked on Facebook: The hottest people on the internet in China in 2009
November 24th, 2009 by CC


This is one of my favors, it is a signature list of memes on the Chinese internet, think you know all the celebrities? check out who is really famous among the Internet users in China which has already surpassed the US population.

The point of this post is not to necessarily be an official ranking, but to give you an idea of the grassroots nature of how Internet fame is manifest in China, the disproportionate emphasis placed on pretty girls, and the seemingly complete randomness of who becomes “red.”


Most condensed: 2009 End of the Year Review – 10 Most Popular Internet Phrases in China December 31st, 2009 by Nancy


Another signature tally, top Chinese Internet phrases in one post! Why do people always say they “don’t need more money?” They tell me my mom told me to go home to eat.  Everything I do or anyone does is because of loneliness.  Who is brother, whose brother? why is everyone obsessed with brother? I heard he is only a legend. And why is whenever something bad happens it is a cup set?
If you don’t know these Phrases and memes, then you don’t know Chinese Internet! Yes, you best go review them now!


Saddest post: China, where is your conscience? The tragic curtain call of substitute teachers January 7th, 2010 by Key & CC


Starting 2010, 448,000 substitute teachers in China will be laid off.  Most of the already laid off teachers are struggling with difficult lives. And the teachers who are waiting to be laid off do not ask for more compensation, but they only want to leave with dignity, and hope that there will still be teachers for the children after they leave.


Most useful information for guys: Top Ten Cities in China with the Most Beautiful Women
August 31st, 2009 by Key


Are you trying to figure out which city to visit when you travel in China? Are you looking for a place in China to live? Maybe this post can help you decide where to go…

Just kidding, Actually as many readers pointed out, while this list it is highly debatable it had some truth to it. You can be the judge.

This is also the first post Shanghaiist linked to.


Most truthful: A construction migrant worker’s notes
November 29th, 2009 by Key 


A young migrant worker updates a post of his raw, yet I found to be truthful and insightful notes while working at a construction site of soon to be multi-million luxury homes in Sanya, Hainan.

“I  never speak out. I am a “diving” migrant worker”


Most contribution by reader: Goddess of Plagiarism, Vivibear


One of the ChinaHush readers Jackie wrote to me today suggesting me to write a blog post on Vivibear. So who is Vivibear? Her real name is Weiwei Zhang (张薇薇). Born in Ningbo, Zhejiang province, now married to Sweden, a Chinese-Swedish author became famous by “writing” internet novels. She published sixteen novels in Chinese. All of these novels were later found with various degrees of plagiarism!
Thank you Jackie for the awesome research!
This is also one of the first posts linked by Danwei and ESWN.


Best partnership: Freedom On the Internet


Lastly I will like to thank our partner Freedur / Paper Bus providing more ways for people to access the internet freely, and providing ChinaHush readers with 10% off coupon code CHINAHUSH on Freedur VPN software.

The recent Freedur VPN subscription giveaways! gave 10 readers each six month subscriptions of Freedur 2.1 VPN software for free.  Hope the winners are enjoying your prices.

And introducing the awesome PAPER BUS: a free proxy service to bypass the Great Fire Wall, access blocked sites for FREE!


Also big THANK YOU to everyone who supported ChinaHush in the past year!  The above list is just my selections, if you feel differently or have other favors please feel free to let me know.

Another reason I am writing to you guys is that I am going to be traveling in China for almost the entire February.  I might not have as much time to write blog posts when I am on the road.  So I am asking you guys, if you like to help out, if you are interested in writing blog post as a guest blogger on ChinaHush; if you want to share your China stories, please submit your writing to me at chinahush[at]gmail[dot]com.  Blog post can be anything related to China, it can be a translation of an Chinese article, or your opinion on a topic, or even your personal experiences.  As long as it is China related, as long as it is interesting and authentic work, remember ChinaHush’s goal is to be interesting and truthful.  Please include the original links of sources and pictures you wish to post along with your writing.  For each post that is selected and posted on ChinaHush during February, you will get one surprise prize!  So the more you submit the more you will get! I will announce the prize on March 1st. (Don’t worry, It’s not something lame)

  1. Key, CC and other authors, thank you all for the great job done here on ChinaHush. Among many English blogs about China, I find this site one of the most interesting, though there’s still room to improve. Most English sites on China by expats are obsessed by politics and some are becoming replicas of western media (shanghaiist), aka becoming less relevant to Chinese themselves. ChinaSmack translates the most interesting pieces from Chinese Internet but the comments there are just unbelievably horrible. Danwei is the most truthful one though most articles are less interesting (but hey there are exceptions like the recent “Chairman Mao’s unexpected return”). All other sites sits somewhere between ChinaSmack and Danwei, though some are more opinion related, some are less (but more readable from a Chinese perspective). Hope ChinaHush can explore more about the third dimension beyond “interesting” and “truthful”, and the third dimension is “more relevant to Chinese daily life”. However, this task is hard to accomplish without a deep understanding of China itself and a painful scrutinize on details, and the answer may not be found solely from Chinese Internet.

    Anyway, hope you enjoy your travel. It’s not the best time to visit most part of China due to harsh weather but I believe Yunnan and Harbin may have something great to explore. I went to Dali and Lijiang last summer and enjoyed a lot – its culture, scenery, nightlife and the local’s “lazy” but peaceful attitude towards life.

    1. Thanks Wanger Er for your support and insightful suggestions. You are right about “more relevant to Chinese daily life” However I did purposely avoid alot of really Chinese topics because I was afraid of the westerners will not get it or will not care, since alot of my readers are people in the west who knows nothing about Chinese daily life. My approach was to try to find the middle ground to ease people into the Chinese culture. In the coming year, I will be sure to improve on this aspect.

      And yes it does require a deep understanding of China itself, in this regard I myself still have alot to learn. Like I said, this blog is also for me to learn and record what I am learning about China, as I already see some results after the first year, we should improve even more as we move forward.
      I also have lots of ideas and plans in store for ChinaHush for the coming years, so please stay tuned!

      And if any of you have ideas and suggestions or even criticisms for ChinaHush please don’t hesitate to let us know!

      1. Key, you are modest and somewhat conservative. Some of the articles here are actually pretty “third dimension” (with strong Chinese characteristics). For example the one on the construction migrant worker. There was no lengthy speech on politics or east-west comparison, just a commoner’s life in China. But hey the value of it is that the article was written by a member of a social class (migrant workers) who rarely speak out their opinions. And it’s so truthful that he didn’t even try to hide the perverted part of his thought. Confusing to readers who don’t have the context? Yes, but it’s definitely thought-provoking to many readers. China observers would declare their failure in the attempt to explain China in one theory. English readers who have no background knowledge but are interested in China would say there are more beyond common ground between the two systems. Even Chinese readers would nod in agreement and admit that it reveals some people’s lifestyles they are not familiar with though it happens around them everyday! IMO, a good article is not one that emphasizes on the differences nor common ground between the east and the west. It tells the story as it’s told by the Chinese themselves, without any consideration to be understood by an outsider. Because there’s no appeasing to readers, it may sound alien and even uncomfortable to some ears, but that’s the only way the story could be truly understood. Only by keeping reading a lot of pieces like that, reader could get some real understanding on why Chinese have different priorities in doing things. Understanding Chinese language will help but the key is listening to the story, collecting information and not drawing a conclusion too early. I believe people would welcome this way of story telling. The 80+ tweets and 20+ comments under the migrant worker post say something.

        Above is just my two mao 🙂 Though being a Chinese and having being living in China for a long time, I have to admit that I don’t understand it well. The country is so diverse and is changing so rapidly, let along the profound connections between today’s society and its long history. I once had a crazy idea to make few theories (like “face” and “guanxi”) and put the society into it and that idea tortured me for many days, because it’s simply impossible. Finally I understood that the way should be reversed. I started not to draw conclusions or to make comparisons but to try to put myself into another’ position. That works for me and the process of understanding both people and things becomes much more enjoyable.

        Anyway, keep up the good work! It would be great to see your travel journals here on ChinaHush (if there will be any).

        1. Wang Er – I really appreciate your sincere comments as well. I also feel the same way you do about a lot of the other blogs and that is why I started writing for ChinaHush. I felt that this is the one blog where these other dimensions could still really develop. ChinaHush is still young, and thus has a lot of room to grow, change and expand. And I think the diversity of our readership really testifies to this fact – I see comments from people who know quite a bit about history, comments from people who just want a laugh, and comments in languages I can’t understand! Thank you for your support and advice and I would sincerely appreciate any continued feedback – I welcome harsh criticism especially ^_^

  2. Good work on developing this site, Key. I first came here because of the “Amazing pictures of pollution in China” story and have found many other interesting stories since. I also agree strongly with Wang Er’s post- stories such as the construction worker’s diary are among the most interesting because it leaves the implications up to the reader. My final recommendation is to require registration for leaving comments, and ban people who make completely inappropriate ones.

  3. Congratulations Key. Looking forward to many more great stories to come.

    @Wang Er: awesomely sincere feedback
    @ Doug: word.

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