China blogs Hall of Fame


The Blogging China event at the Bookworm is tonight at 8pm, and I'm on the panel. I hope to see some Anthill readers there. In the meantime, I’ve been getting nostalgic about old China blogs (including my own). I don’t believe the grumps who say that English language China blogs are “dead”, but there was definitely a wider range of smaller blogs back in 2007 when I first started following them. So I thought I’d enshrine some of them for posterity, alongside those which are still going strong, and list a few newer and lesser known ones too.

I’ve split this into four lists: fallen heroes, golden oldies, rising stars and hidden ninjas. I’m selective, but if I’ve missed any big ones, do add them in the comments, along with which category you think it belongs in.


FALLEN HEROES – The vanquished mighty, we salute you

• East West South North – Roland Soong, King of Kings

• Black and White Cat – “I no longer live in China. It’s still not about cats.”

• Beijing Newspeak – A ghost inside the Xinhua machine

• Imagethief – Will Moss, Palo Alto’s (re)gain, China’s loss

• Mutant Palm – Formerly Tenement Palm, now (inactive) facepalm

• Bokane – Sorry Brendan O’Kane, I’m calling time of death. Come back!

• Rectified Name – Formely home of the three above, now dead wood

• Danwei (.org) – Can’t begrudge them a living, but I miss the old Danwei

• China Geeks – Charlie Custer’s lovechild, best of the best at its height

• Letter from China – Beijing misses your talent, Evan Osnos

• Shanghai Scrap – Adam Minter's blog that became a book

• The China Beat – 1000 posts before retiring, all top quality


GOLDEN OLDIES – Around just as long, still going strong

• Granite Studio – Hard as granite, Jeremiah Jenne’s still at it

• Peking Duck – Possibly the longest running of them all?

• China Rhyming – Paul French's "gallimaufry of random China history"

• Sinocism – No longer daily, but very much a must follow

• CDT – Aggressive aggregation, a one-stop China news shop

• chinaSMACK – Read my interview with the founder here

• China Media Project – Run out of Hong Kong, top analysis

China Real Time ReportTop class stuff from the WSJ team


RISING STARS – Out with the old, in with the (relatively) new

• Beijing Cream – Your “daily dollop” of awesomeness

• Sinosphere – Pretty much all you need to keep up with the news

• China File – Heir to China Beat, a “watering hole” for China hands

• Tea Leaf Nation – An invaluable window into Chinese social media

• World of Chinese – Cultural miscellania, and language titbits

• Analects – The Economist’s China blog (disclosure: I contribute)

• Ministry of Harmony – All stories are 100% factually accurate

• Sinostand – Infrequently updated but worth it when it does


HIDDEN NINJAS – In case you haven’t heard of these ones

• Blood & Treasure – Often cryptic, always insightful

• Your Daily China Moment – Photography blog with some lovely images

• Fuck Yeah Chinese Myths! – Myths, history, culture and expletives

• The Licentiate’s Ledger – Historical marginalia from Austin Dean

• Far Enough East – Online literary journal out of Shanghai

• China Change – Civil society and rights advocacy, translations

• China Daily Show – Satirical kicks, some funny stuff here

• An Optimist’s Guide to China – Because it’s not all bad


N.B. Those last two lists are far from comprehensive (I’ve never been a huge fan of the daily RSS clusterf*ck). I’m aiming for a mixed meal, and overlook special interest and regional blogs as you’ll find those if you’re interested in them anyway. In the end it’s subjective as hell. For a fuller list, flip through Danwei’s 2013 model workers. Plus for more gems, check out the Anthill’s partner sites.

Other "listicles" on the Anthill:

20 China books to read (and 5 to avoid)

Contemporary Chinese fiction

Bad China Articles