Six Apart announces Chinese partner

Six Apart is partnering with blog hosting company Bokee to localize and distribute Movable Type in China. Bokee (formerly known as BlogChina) means “great, open minded person” in Chinese.

Leading Chinese search company Baidu estimates there are 36.82 million blogs in China authored by 16 million unique bloggers as of November 2005. The same study found 658 blog service providers in China and 330 providers with over 1000 registered users. MSN Spaces currently leads the market.

Bokee has been vocally opposed to the spread of MSN Spaces in China and what one Bokee employee calls a “Microsoft monopoly” of blogs in China due to its agreements with the Chinese government.

We call on the national monitoring departments to increase their monitoring and supervision of MSN Spaces, especially with respect to their illegal offering of content services in order to restrict its monopolistic practices.

We call for the vast number of blog service providers and traditional portals to put aside their sectarian interest, and set up Chinese blog service standards and open up the Chinese market in order to oppose Microsoft monopolizing 2.0.

Bokee laid off reportedly laid off about 1/3 of its workforce the week before Christmas and plans a billion dollar IPO within the year if they are not first bought by Yahoo! or Google for a rumored $200 million.

China’s a tricky business but Movable Type is a good first step into the market for Six Apart due to its hosted nature which places more responsibility for the content on the publisher and not the tool provider.