Blogger | China
Zhou Xiaoping has never visited the United States, but that hasn’t stopped him from documenting its many internal problems, both real and imagined, for a Chinese audience. Strong on emotion, often short on facts, Zhou’s popular anti-Western essays — with titles like “Broken Dreams in the USA” and “Nine Knockout Blows in America’s Cold War Against China” — cater to the grassroots nationalism that thrives in certain parts of Chinese social media. The 33-year-old rose to national prominence on Oct. 15, when Chinese President Xi Jinping recognized him at a Beijing forum on art and literature. The youthful Zhou appears to be the chosen poster child for Xi’s sweeping campaign to reassert ideological control over the nation’s once-freewheeling Internet. On Dec. 12, Zhou got a promotion into government: He was appointed the executive director of new media at the Communist Youth League.