A while back I recommended Blogsome.com for bloggers looking for free hosting that works in China. Soon after, it was blocked. Grrrr.

Recently, at the Shanghaiist party, a fellow blogger remarked to me that any blog host with the word “blog” in the domain name inevitably gets blocked. Interesting observation.

If that is the case, then WordPress.com, a new, FREE blogging host, seems like a good way to go. (WordPress.com is different from WordPress.org.)

Just in case the second paragraph didn’t get through to you… If you’re thinking of coming to China, do not use Blogspot. It is blocked in China. Do not use Blog-City. It is blocked in China. Do not use Blogsome. It is blocked in China.


John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. Blogeasy.com remains unblocked (at the moment).

  2. But for WordPress.com, you do need to either wait for the lottery (they give out random invites) or some existing members to invite you. Currently there is no way to sign up.

    And the invites are hot items (only one per signup). Someone took mine 20 minutes after I posted about it on my site.

  3. I started with a BlogSpot blog about two months ago hoping to allow my family to check it out and keep tabs on me. Unfortunately, I found it blocked when I arrived in China last month. Oops.

    Xanga seems to be working for me really well though. It can be quick to load too.

  4. Scott,

    Yes, that’s true. It seems very similar to the Gmail model. But if it develops similarly to the Gmail model, it will soon become relatively easy to acquire an invitation.

  5. Rely on MSN spaces. MS has sufficiently kow-towed to the guv (along with google and yahoo); they won’t be blocked 😉

  6. I second Drew… when I lived in China this past year, my Xanga worked pretty well. I honestly don’t recall and problems I ever had with it.

  7. Aiya, sorry to hear about the blocked blogs. It’s frustrating. I’m sure the blocks can be taken care of and sites, unblocked. It just takes time and money: are the blogs worth being unblocked?

  8. Re: MSN Spaces, I tested the limits of the service with a Chinese blogger friend of mine (who is located in a different part of China than me and therefore has a slightly different version of the Net Nanny to labor under) and we found that the nanny scripting was disabled when someone registered their email account with the US Hotmail server and then used spaces.msn.com instead of the Chinese Spaces site. We haven’t since returned to testing Spaces (mostly because it’s such a crappy blog service), but someone who uses the American/Western MSN websites should be free of hassles.

    Before I go: another free host worth mentioning is LiveJournal, which loads fast and has a thriving expat community.

  9. And now it appears that WordPress.com is blocked, as well.

  10. Can’t get xanga as of yesterday, and I’m nervous it has joined the ranks of the blocked. Anybody want to confirm/deny this from elsewhere in China? I’m in Haikou, Hainan, and a friend of mine in Sanya, Hainan also can’t access it.

  11. Nicki,

    It’s not loading for me either. Give it a day or so, though. This kind of problem can be temporary.

  12. I haven’t been able to get to xanga or livejournal for probably a week now.
    My friend who has a blogspot journal said that even when she can’t access it to see it, she can still update it, so it works for keeping people back home (or any other country) updated, I guess.
    And Blogspot pages have been working for me lately.
    (I’m in a rural city in Guangxi)

  13. I have used xanga.com in China since 2001.

    Make that HAD. As of March 12th when I last successfully accessed xanga.com, xanga.com has been blocked – I am in Gguangdong which is SUPPOSED TO BE relatively free because of its nearness to Hong Kong – well, relative by China’s standards is indeed a VERY relative term.

    Any ideas on where I can publish that China hasn’t blocked?

  14. Cristina Says: May 8, 2007 at 1:36 am

    The worst part is not that I cannot blog on my xanga, but that I live across the world from my friends and family and cannot read their blogs. More and more websites are blocked everyday it seems.

  15. back in Octover all out of a sudden i got the access to my blog on wordpress.com, but only for 2 or 3 weeks. Now it has been blocked yet again since about 3 weeks. I’m so f%&*^ng tired of this!!! grmbl

  16. Me too! Me too! I’m having trouble going on Xanga.com nationwide in China. When my plane landed in Beijing last month, I spent 1 week trying to acccess it >.< I promised my friends I will update information about the 2008 Olympics to them and now it seems like I can’t keep my promise. I also tried it in Guangxi (Nanning), Yunnan (Kunming), Hainan (Haikou), and pretty soon Hong Kong because that is my next destination. If it doesn’t work in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, and Tianjing I might have to stick it to MySpace. I hope not.

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