iPlayer Radio What's New?
Image for Episode 1

Play now 25 mins

Episode 1

Duration:
25 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 10 July 2012

Duncan Hewitt investigates the impact of microblogging in China, where Sina's Weibo now has a greater membership than Twitter.

He meets the young people of Chengdu in Central China, who are part of a burgeoning graffiti, hiphop and dance scene.

Just 15 years ago there was no way they could communicate with fellow fans, never mind the outside world. Now they are breaking into the US charts.

He also visits Youku, China's YouTube, to watch their online X-Factor-style competition as it's filmed, and finds out why mums leading a breastfeeding revolution are addicted to their Sina Weibo accounts.

Thanks to microblogging China is also witnessing the emergence of a civil society of activists and justice-seekers. The victim of a horrific acid attack tells Duncan how her desperate plea for redress on Sina Weibo led to a nationwide outcry.

In Beijing he meets the dogs saved from a grisly death in the dog-eating South thanks to flashmob rescuers organised on Sina Weibo. None of this was possible before the internet - but where will it all lead?

(Image: A girl in a cafe using her phone)

  • Weibo: How China's version of Twitter changed five lives

    Weibo: How China's version of Twitter changed five lives

    Sina Weibo, a Chinese version of Twitter, is one of the world's most popular social networking sites. And some of the stories it has generated give an interesting glimpse into life in modern China

    Read more on the BBC News website

Broadcasts

Free downloads

  1. Image for Documentaries

    Documentaries

    An indepth look at stories and issues from around the world. This podcast offers you the chance to…

  2. Image for World Service Music Documentaries

    World Service Music Documentaries

    All the World Service's music podcasts gathered into one place. New documentaries will be added…

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss