...and arrived in China. You want to share this great feat with all your friends and family back home through twitter/facebook…? Think again, you are in China now. Websites like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Flickr, just to name a few, are not available in China.
At first, not being able to access these websites may seem like a problem for many of our students at the Hutong School. But this is not necessarily a bad thing.
You should see this as an opportunity to fully immerse yourself in Chinese culture and start using some of the many Chinese alternatives. Once you learn Chinese you can ditch the popular Western websites and switch to their Chinese counterparts.
Continue reading to discover alternatives to two popular Western social networking websites; Facebook and Twitter.
Ah Facebook, the mother of all social networking websites. Luckily, for those who are in China, there are many good alternatives boasting a familiar kind of layout and user interface. If you are used to Facebook, you won't have any problems switching to these Chinese clones. We can recommend the following: 51.com (the biggest), RenRen (人人, aimed toward students) and kaixin001.com (开心网, home to Happy Farm, China's Farm Ville).
Tweeting, or micro-blogging, is as popular in China as in the rest of the world. Sina's Microblog Weibo (微博) is the most popular one. Closely followed by Zuosa (做啥) and Digu (嘀咕). All of them share the same functionally and similar layout. You'll be tweeting in no time!
Actively using these websites and connecting to your Chinese friends is a great way to learn and practice your Chinese! You'll even end up making new friends while you learn Chinese! Isn't this a great way to work on your Chinese language skills? Go ahead and create a profile on RenRen (人人), watch movies on Youku (优酷) and tweet like you never twittered before on Digu (嘀咕)!
Have we missed any important websites? Have you actually tried to create an account on one of these? Let us know! Also, you can learn more about what life in Beijing is like.