The Chinese social networking website Fenbei.com was started in 2003 by a young Chinese software engineer. By 2006 it provided an important online community for tens of thousands of Uyghurs, who developed an online culture and communication genres through which they creatively engaged in a virtual world with thousands of others who shared their interests. By 2010 the site was closed, stranding these Uyghurs and millions of other Chinese citizens without the online site that had become their virtual community and connected them to other users around China and even abroad. This article attempts to uncover a small part of what Fenbei meant for young Uyghur Internet enthusiasts and fills some of the gaps in research on popular Internet use in China.
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