Stage6 for China

Well, YouTube is still blocked, but Stage6 isn’t. Although you can’t beat YouTube’s sheer quantity of content, Stage6 has much higher quality video (much of it looks fine at full screen!), much longer videos (hour-long documentaries no longer need to be split up into multiple videos), and a decent download speed for those of us in China–often better than YouTube’s was. You have to install a DivX plugin to watch the Stage6 movies, but the huge improvement in video quality alone makes it worthwhile.

Here are some China-related Stage6 videos to get you started:

China, From Red to Green (25:27): sustainable design in new construction in China.

Why Democracy – Please Vote For Me (52:06): A documentary following the elections for class monitor in a 3rd grade class in Wuhan, China. Please Vote for Me gives a glimpse into China’s contemporary urban middle classes. It won the Sterling Feature Award at Silverdocs in 2007.

Chinese Megacities and Transport (5:42): A short documentary about China and Chinese megacities and how they deal with strong urbanization and automobilization trends. Two cities, Wuhan and Nanjing, are introduced and their approaches towards these problems are addressed.

The Battle for Oil – China vs. USA (50:07): China’s sky-rocketing growth and shortage of sufficient resources is forcing China to set its sights outside its borders in a frantic search for oil, but the major oil-producing countries are kept off-limits by the United States, forcing China to do business with the rogue states, African dictatorships, Iran and former Russian states – to get the oil they desperately need.

The People’s Court (55:05): Experiments with the rule of law in China.

China vs India – Race to the Top of the World (23:02): While China is growing and moving very fast, there are some people still believe that India has a better chance to become Super Power and sustain the growth rate.

MotoGP Babes of China

Chinese pop music videos

For you “naughty” viewers, there are also a fair number of videos that the Chinese government would probably be blocking if it were paying attention. Events of 1989, separatist movements, etc…. you can find videos about them on Stage6, and they load in China.


John Pasden

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


  1. I’m trying to get stage 6 working, but it’s not working. Nothing’s playing, despite downloading the plugin. Every now and then Firefox explodes in a shower of flying sparks and I have to start again. Looks really interesting though!

    It’s frustrating and I never know when Firefox is going to crash. I’m using a Mac by the way. And I’m typing as fast as I can because I never know when Firefox is going to just give up on me and cr…

  2. maxiewawa,

    It was working for me great last night. I tried to start downloading (via BitTorrent) the new episodes of 30 Rock and The Office at the same time, though, and that screwed it all up. So (in some cases, anyway) it looks like you can’t run a BT client and watch Stage6 videos at the same time…

  3. I’m running Firefox on a Mac as well; I’m able to watch the videos, or parts of them, but something is prompting FF to crash and crash often…

  4. The “Why democracy” part is cool.

    Worrying to see how the parents force-feed their children with “ammo” to hurt their classmates and then later how the children break apart when they loose.

    Only I feel sorry for the girl who has only a mother to help her out. Especially because her mother is not agressive but supportive to her little girl unlike the boy’s parents.

  5. Jonathan,

    Yeah, I hear FF isn’t the greatest when running on a Mac… Bummer.

  6. Peter,

    Yeah, I actually really liked the “Why Democracy” piece. Seeing the school, what the kids did on their own, how the parents influenced them (and the degree to which they got involved), and how the kids interacted with each other was all fascinating. I especially enjoyed the trap Luo Lei’s father helped him set for Cheng Cheng, executed brilliantly by Luo Lei. Good stuff. Democracy indeed.

  7. Is the Why Democracy piece the one they’ve been showing on BBC World lately? Anybody know? Sounds the same. One kid bribes his way to victory by giving his classmates presents at the end of his speech. That kid will go far in life. Fascinating insight into fledgling democracy in China.

  8. Carl,

    Yeah, that’s the one. It’s quite good.

    I think those kids (with the help of their parents) figured out “real democracy in practice” waaayyy sooner than I did, growing up in the States. 🙂

  9. Just on china related documentaries I came across ‘Paul Merton’s China’. He is a British comedian and although he comes across as ignorant, makes brash comments like “oh its like there is individuality here, I’m an individual so I don’t get it.” and keeps mentioning the whole Tian na men thing, He does remind me of the average mindset of many westerners. It does however have some really interesting parts such as a farmer called Mr Wu who makes robots from scrap some are strong enough to carry people and a communist town that has become a tourist attraction in its self. Anyway if John allows heres the link. It should work in China.

  10. I know this is completely off-topic, but when are we going to hear more about your trip to Turkey? I’m really curious to know what your impressions were.

  11. Stage6 has porn.

    Also, I’ve found it impossible to upload videos (not porn) to the site – has anyone had any luck with that?

  12. If I were a CCP member who is in charge of censorship, I would come here every day and find out other “unfavorable” video sites than Youtube.

  13. I finished watching the ‘Please vote for me’ I tought it was great, my wife had the usual reaction to a documentry about china ‘Boring’.

    I too would like to hear how John got on in Turkey, it has a lot of history.

  14. That “Why democracy” video was fascinating and hilarious. I loved the way that 成成 organised the uproar before 王晓’s(sic?) speech and made 罗雷 one of the guilty parties. He’s going to be an absolute player. 罗雷’s old man was something else too.

  15. I’m sure the CCP censorship units are quite on top of things as far as the interwebs are concerned.

  16. Thanks!!

    Interesting Videos!!

  17. Patrick,

    I loved Turkey and I fully intended to write more about it, but I’m having trouble coming up with something both coherent and interesting to write about. I’ll give it some more thought.

  18. Matthew Stinson Says: October 27, 2007 at 4:52 pm

    Please Vote for Me is an amazing little film. I’m going to recommend it to some Poli Sci people I know.

  19. thanks for the links 🙂

  20. […] School Colors Following a post from John at Sinosplice, I checked out the documentary “Please Vote for Me,” part of the BBC’s “Why […]

  21. good website. i like stage6. the video you posted here are fun.
    i am chinese in america for about 10 years. somehow google took me to your website. i was brought up in hangzhou, so i know which road you are living at. cool

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