The number of bloggers in China had reached 17.5 million by the end of August, almost 30 times the 2002 figure.
Around 7.7 million of that figure were active bloggers who updated their web logs at least once a month. That number is expected to exceed 10 million by the end of the year, according to the 2006 Chinese bloggers investigation report released by the Internet Society of China recently.
Meanwhile, China's web logs boasted a readership of 75 million.
Statistics show that there were around 34 million registered blog sites but more than 23 million, or 70 percent, were "sleeping blogs" visited by users or readers less than once a month.
Normally one blogger opened one or more blogs.
"Many web space resources have been wasted," said Hu Qiheng, secretary-general of the China Internet Society.
Furthermore, the poor services of blog space suppliers cannot meet the growing demand of users in many areas. For example, blog website addresses are often too long and they lack personalized designs.
Having one's own blog has become quite fashionable among Internet users in China. For many people, a blog serves as a platform to share life experiences with families, friends and strangers.
"My classmates and I cannot meet frequently, but we share very similar lifestyles.
Web logs really help us to communicate," said Chen Jiao, a Beijing office worker.
"I want to share my thoughts on life and society with other people. My goal is to make my blog outstanding," said Chen Tieyuan, a former political reporter in Beijing.
The head of the China Internet Society also emphasized the market potential for blogs.
"I suggest departments and organizations do further market research to let advertising companies know about blogs' possible profits."
(China Daily October 10, 2006)