Blogging is blooming in China as the country's vast pool of Web users clamour to make their mark online and ambitious local start-ups battle foreign heavyweights for a piece of the market.

China now boasts a 14.2 million-strong "blogosphere," with a new blog -- a form of online diary whose name is a shortened form of personal "Web log" -- created every second, according to Web site Technorati.

The growing stable of e-scribes, still small by global standards, has attracted homegrown firms and foreign giants like Microsoft, Google and Yahoo Inc. offering blogging Web pages to outspoken Chinese Internet users.

The medium has already produced at least one celebrity of sorts, a woman who goes by the blog name Furong Jiejie, whose steamy online entries include passages like: "I have a physique that gives men nosebleeds."

"Users don't care too much if the blog company is foreign or local, but I think local companies have more understanding of the community," said Kevin Wen, a spokesman for Beijing-based start-up, whose name is Chinese for blog.

Bokee, formerly called BlogChina, has attracted 5 million yuan (US$616,523) in seed funding as well as $10 million in venture capital funding from six U.S. and Chinese firms.

It hopes to become the first Chinese blogging company to list on the Nasdaq, Chief Executive Officer Fang Xingdong said, adding the company expects its revenue to grow to five times its August level by the end of this year and its user base to reach the 10 million mark.

Rivals and have also said that they were in financing discussions with venture capital firms.

Chinese technology IPOs have proven popular so far, with Web search company Inc. being the latest to strike gold with its shares more than quadrupling in value in their U.S. market debut last week... (Continued Here)


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