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January 13, 2007 4:57 PM   Subscribe

The top questions people in China want to ask the internet...
posted by miss lynnster (48 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
In America, I'm thinking the top question is a lot shorter: "Porn?"
posted by miss lynnster at 4:58 PM on January 13, 2007


1. What is love?

Baby don't hurt me, baby don't hurt me, no more...
posted by champthom at 5:01 PM on January 13, 2007 [3 favorites]


I wonder how many of those will show up on AskMe now... lol... At least there wasn't a "Name My Whatever" category.
posted by amyms at 5:01 PM on January 13, 2007


How do you find out the top questions in other countries? I'd like to compare...
posted by liquorice at 5:07 PM on January 13, 2007


I'm curious about that too! I actually wanted this post to be a comparison of other countries, but I couldn't find other listings. I found a list of top keyword searches in the U.S. but... ummm... it was mostly x rated words and Britney Spears.
posted by miss lynnster at 5:11 PM on January 13, 2007


Here:

Google Zeitgeist

Cheers
posted by dibblda at 5:18 PM on January 13, 2007


God, Baidu is such a shit company. The only reason they are now popular in China is that they slandered Google to the government and caused Google to get blocked. The main way they make money now is through there pirated MP3 search.

Those lists are total bullshit, too. I love the questions that are placed there by the local party members.

Why did they go on the Long March?
How to build a harmonious society?
Should I join the Party?

I'm sure all of which have very positive answers toward the party.

The real questions would be more like.
How can I cheat at World of Warcraft?
Where can i get a cheap massage?
How can I get rid of industrial waste?
posted by afu at 5:22 PM on January 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


Number 14 most popular search in Ireland. Very unintentionally funny.
posted by parmanparman at 5:49 PM on January 13, 2007


Interesting. Some of these questions, like "Why do we need to drink water?" make you wonder how stupid the average Chinese person must be, until you remind yourself their Government doesn't necessarily give them the same chances many of us here in the West have.

Purely out of interest, I would like to compare and contrast these questions with a similar list of people from the US, the UK or Australia.

Good post. Thank you.
posted by Effigy2000 at 6:00 PM on January 13, 2007


I just re-read my comment. To clarify, I should have said "how stupid the average Chinese person living in China must be." No offense intended. Apologies for any imparted.
posted by Effigy2000 at 6:02 PM on January 13, 2007


Whilst I'm certain baidu will have gamed the list somehow, don't forget that questions about the Long March and Harmonious society are probably being asked by schoolkids who have to write essays on that sort of thing.
posted by Abiezer at 6:11 PM on January 13, 2007


Effigy2000 writes "I just re-read my comment. To clarify, I should have said 'how stupid the average Chinese person living in China must be.' No offense intended. Apologies for any imparted."

And what you probably meant was how uneducated the average Chinese person living in China must be.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:12 PM on January 13, 2007


Why did they go on the Long March?

Huh? Is the educational system in china that bad? It would be like an American asking "Why did we fight the revolutionary war"?
posted by delmoi at 6:12 PM on January 13, 2007


parmanparman: There are children in China, aren't there?
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 6:14 PM on January 13, 2007


Effigy2000: Just out of curiosity, how would you answer the question "why do we need to drink water"?
posted by delmoi at 6:16 PM on January 13, 2007


Howabout...
What the hell is wrong with the west and thier continuance of the meme goatse?
posted by Kudos at 6:17 PM on January 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


To wash down our jiaoze?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:20 PM on January 13, 2007


I was surprised not to find: Why is it so difficult to find a girlfriend?
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 6:24 PM on January 13, 2007


Where the fuck did all these other Chinese people come from?
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 6:37 PM on January 13, 2007


Why did they go on the Long March?

It would be like an American asking "Why did we fight the revolutionary war"?


Good questions and in both cases it would be very interesting to hear answers from the younger generation.
posted by speug at 6:37 PM on January 13, 2007


Ask Yahoo does China.
posted by stirfry at 6:37 PM on January 13, 2007


Kirk Johnson.
posted by homunculus at 6:42 PM on January 13, 2007


It would be like an American asking "Why did we fight the revolutionary war"?

Wait, wait, I used to know this one. It had something to do with the French, right? Because they wanted our tea?
posted by The Tensor at 6:49 PM on January 13, 2007


Looks bollocks: only sampling the simpletons/jokers that put naive whole-sentence questions into Google. If you want to find about about the Long March, for instance, you put in "Long March".
posted by raygirvan at 7:07 PM on January 13, 2007


some questions might be bad because it's Chinese people in China typing in a secondary language.. So there's probably things lost in translation.. I'm sure if there was a chinese search engine that logged queries from Americans they'd see some weird stuff too..
posted by pez_LPhiE at 7:16 PM on January 13, 2007


I thought the questions were probably translated from Chinese...?
posted by miss lynnster at 7:50 PM on January 13, 2007


For all we know, learning about the Long March is a nation-wide school assignment for 8-year-olds (which they prompty search on the internet). And here we are, looking at the questions posed by children to the internet, and remarking how stupid the Chinese must be. How stupid are we?
posted by kisch mokusch at 7:52 PM on January 13, 2007


parmanparman: There are children in China, aren't there?

Um, it's Saturday night, I am at home looking at MeFi on my Wii, what does the above mean?
posted by parmanparman at 7:53 PM on January 13, 2007


Bollocks.

Pasted the wrong name, parmanparman.

Sincerest apologies.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 7:57 PM on January 13, 2007


Why do we need to drink water? Oh silly rabbit, isn't it obvious?

To replenish our precious bodily fluids.
posted by JHarris at 8:02 PM on January 13, 2007



Bollocks.

Dude, you're in Rhode Island, not Great Britain.
posted by parmanparman at 8:05 PM on January 13, 2007


Dude, you're in Rhode Island, not Great Britain.

Um, it's Saturday night, I am at home looking at MeFi on my laptop, what are you getting at? :P
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 8:53 PM on January 13, 2007


Yeah, in America, it's spelled Bullocks.
posted by Balisong at 8:59 PM on January 13, 2007


11) You want number-one short-time?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:10 PM on January 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


Hey, I've been to Bullocks!
posted by miss lynnster at 9:17 PM on January 13, 2007


Never mind the bullocks.
posted by champthom at 9:20 PM on January 13, 2007


I'm surprised the Chinese capitalist-restorationist so-called Communist Party lets anybody bring up the Long March around schoolkids as that makes it hard to avoid talking about Mao and Maoism. And that Harmonious Society stuff is straight out of Confucianism, something I thought the Chinese Communist Party got rid of in 1949.
posted by davy at 9:30 PM on January 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


According to Google Trends, searches on Mao (blue) have been more popular than searches on the Long March (red) in China until just recently, when Long March searches really spiked. I guess this is why it came up on the list, but I have no idea why it became so topical at the end of last year.

btw, I don't know any Chinese, but wikipedia gives the chinese characters for historical people/events (Long march = 长征, Chairman Mao = 毛主席), and it's easy enough to cut and paste into google.
posted by kisch mokusch at 9:58 PM on January 13, 2007


If you want to find about about the Long March, for instance, you put in "Long March".

Actually you'd just type:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_March
posted by delmoi at 10:06 PM on January 13, 2007


Sounds to me like the Chinese simply have to write a lot of essays in school, and use the internet for them. I doubt the average Chinese person is actually interested in learning things--they're human too.
posted by Citizen Premier at 10:17 PM on January 13, 2007


oops, what kisch mokusch said.
posted by Citizen Premier at 10:17 PM on January 13, 2007


I am pretty dubious of the lists. The Chinese government is very smart, has their fingers in a lot of things, and generally quite clever and keenly aware of the power of the internet. (Just look at their censorship policies.)

I am not sure the average person really is looking to best live Hu Jintao's catch phrase or to really get inspired by the Long March. I don't think that school assignments would be in such volume to make this much of an impact, either.

Although I could be very wrong, too. I don't know. I haven't lived there. Yet.
posted by blacklite at 1:28 AM on January 14, 2007


Well, I was inspired by the Long March question and googled it, and the first hit told me that "the Long March spirit is still relevant to the Party's well-being and nation's development." So now we've all learned something.

Huh? Is the educational system in china that bad? It would be like an American asking "Why did we fight the revolutionary war"?

As others have pointed out, that cuts a different way than you intended it to.
posted by languagehat at 6:26 AM on January 14, 2007


It's sad that "How to kiss" is one of the top questions. You'd think that it would be one of those things you wouldn't need the Internet to learn.
posted by tommasz at 7:13 AM on January 14, 2007


The Chinese people also must know that they are under surveillance, so these are the searches they're willing to do in plaintext.
posted by Malor at 7:20 AM on January 14, 2007


What kind of omission is it that Google Zeitgeist doesn't list USA¿ Have I missed something¿

Ditto what afu stated. It's Communist, keep the people in the dark and feed 'em shit. I'll take that list with a mountain of salt. We know all that salt isn't good for you.

Remember
Arbeit Macht Frei
¿ Ja, Work Will Set You Free huh¿ Should we change that to 'the Party'¿

Funny that "Should I live" tops "Should I join the Party'.
posted by alicesshoe at 7:44 AM on January 14, 2007


I'm surprised the Chinese capitalist-restorationist so-called Communist Party lets anybody bring up the Long March around schoolkids as that makes it hard to avoid talking about Mao and Maoism. And that Harmonious Society stuff is straight out of Confucianism, something I thought the Chinese Communist Party got rid of in 1949.

They don't frame the Long March or the rest of the civil war between the CCP and the KMT as a class struggle, but rather as a nationalist struggle. Today's interpretation goes that Mao wasn't trying to overthrow the bourgeoisie and destroy capitalism, but rather was trying to unite the country, which was kept weak and divided by foreign imperial powers and local warlords who abetted them.

What afu said. Chinese people's Internet habits are not so different from Americans'. I'm sure the true top 10 Internet searches would be almost entirely pop culture and/or porn related.
posted by alidarbac at 8:23 AM on January 14, 2007


Thanks for Google Zeitgeist. Interesting.

What's disturbing is how many country lists Paris Hilton shows up on.
posted by melixxa600 at 9:47 AM on January 14, 2007


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