Type of site
Web 2.0, Social network service, Online music, movie and book database
Available inChinese
Key peopleYang Bo
LaunchedMarch 6, 2005; 19 years ago (2005-03-06)
Current statusActive (Chinese: 豆瓣; pinyin: Dòubàn), launched on 6 March 2005, is a Chinese online database[1][2] and social networking service that allows registered users to record information and create content related to film, books, music, recent events, and activities in Chinese cities. Douban is named after a Hutong in Chaoyang District, Beijing where the founder lived while he began work on the website.[3]

Douban was formerly open to both registered and unregistered users. For registered users, the website recommends potentially interesting books, movies, and music to them in addition to serving as a social network website such as WeChat, Weibo and record keeper. For unregistered users, the website is a place to find ratings and reviews of media.

Douban has about 200 million registered users as of 2013[4] and some Chinese authors as well as critics register their official personal pages on the site. The platform has been compared to other review sites such as IMDb,[5][6] Rotten Tomatoes[7][8] and Goodreads.[9][10]


Douban (Beijing Douwang Technology Co. Ltd.)[11] was founded by Yang Bo (杨勃). He majored in physics at Tsinghua University before he attended University of California, San Diego as a PhD student. After receiving his PhD in computational physics, he worked as a research scientist at IBM. Later, he returned to China, becoming the CTO of a software company founded by one of his friends.

In 2005, Yang started to create a website for travelling named Lüzong (驴宗), initially a one-person project at a Starbucks in Beijing. In a couple of months, however, the site was transformed into what is now known as[citation needed]


Office of



Douban has attracted a large number of intellectuals who are eager to discuss social issues. This makes Douban vulnerable to censorship by the Chinese government. Douban reviews all content posted on the website, preventing some material from being posted in the first place, and taking down other materials after the fact.[18]

Removal of the Renaissance

In March 2009, Douban removed art paintings of the Renaissance on the grounds that they contained 'pornographic' elements.[18][19][20] This led to a campaign called "Portraits: Dress up" in which internet users were asked to dress up images of famous renaissance nudes in a protest against Douban's self-censorship. The administrators then removed the discussion about the campaign.[18]

Keyword bans

That year also saw the 20th anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, and Douban further extended its keyword list to ban any terms that are likely to relate to the incident.[21][22] This angered some members, causing them to move to other similar websites that employ less strict self-censorship policies.[18]

LGBT groups

In 2011, some Chinese lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) groups announced that they had planned to boycott Douban as their posts announcing an LGBT-themed film festival had been censored by the website. In mainland China, films and television programs with LGBT themes are subject to state censorship.[23]

The Wandering Earth ratings

Douban has been accused that many users of Douban purposely gave The Wandering Earth, a 2019 Chinese science-fiction film, one star. Critics further accused that some users "change their given five stars to one star" and some users are paid to give one star to the film, which later turned out to be false. On 12 February 2019, Douban officially announced that "mass score-changing is abnormal and it won't be counted in the total score. To avoid such incidents, we are urgently optimizing product features." in its official Sina Weibo account.[24]


  1. ^ Chan, Hiu Man (January 30, 2019). "Mary Poppins's magic could transform the Chinese cinema scene". The Conversation. Cardiff University.
  2. ^ "To some Chinese, The Interview is 'the greatest film in history'". TODAYOnline, The New York Times. December 27, 2014. Archived from the original on September 20, 2022. Retrieved September 5, 2022.
  3. ^ "豆瓣杨勃:为梦想而一直努力". Archived from the original on 2019-01-30. Retrieved 2017-04-28.
  4. ^ "豆瓣宣布月覆盖用户数达2亿 同比增长一倍". TechWeb. 2013-11-13. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
  5. ^ Poulomi Ghosh (January 28, 2018). "How Secret Superstar proves China is in love with Aamir Khan". DailyO. Archived from the original on September 16, 2022.
  6. ^ Kerry Allen (2020-09-24). "Heroes in Harm's Way: Covid-19 show sparks sexism debate in China". BBC. Retrieved 2022-09-05.
  7. ^ Elaine Yau (January 16, 2021). "Zhang Ziyi follows Jackie Chan, Tom Cruise in playing a character much younger than she is, but fans and critics are not impressed". Yahoo! Finance, SCMP.
  8. ^ Brzeski, Patrick (2018-08-12). "China Box Office: 'The Meg' Devours $50 Million During Controversial Weekend". The Hollywood Reporter.
  9. ^ Jana Diesner; Yuerong Hu; Zoe LeBlanc; Ted Underwood; Glen Layne-Worthey; J. Stephen Downie (June 24, 2022). "Complexities Associated with User-generated Book Reviews in Digital Libraries: Temporal, Cultural, and Political Case Studies (page 3)" (PDF). University of Illinois School of Information Sciences.
  10. ^ Venzo, Paul; Moruzi, Kristine (2021-06-08). Sexuality in Literature for Children and Young Adults. Deakin University: Routledge. p. 209. ISBN 978-1-000-39349-1.
  11. ^ "豆瓣". Retrieved 2021-04-19.
  12. ^ "发现小组". 2005-03-06. Retrieved 2012-12-21.
  13. ^ "豆瓣同城_上海". 2005-03-06. Retrieved 2012-12-21.
  14. ^ a b c d Techweb. "豆瓣宣布月覆盖用户数达2亿 同比增长一倍". (in Chinese (China)). Retrieved 2021-04-19.
  15. ^ a b "豆瓣上线内容付费产品"豆瓣时间" 首推课程为北岛的诗歌课_科技_腾讯网". Retrieved 2021-04-19.
  16. ^ "新京报 - 好新闻,无止境". Retrieved 2021-04-19.
  17. ^ a b "新京报 - 好新闻,无止境". The Beijing News. Retrieved 2021-04-19.
  18. ^ a b c d "泥马战河蟹 草根斗权威". BBC (in Chinese). 2009-03-17. Retrieved 2009-03-20.
  19. ^ "给大卫像穿衣抗议政府封网". BBC中文网. 2009-02-09. Retrieved 2009-02-09.
  20. ^ "网友响应反低俗号召 给名画"穿上"衣服". NetEase. Information Times. 2009-02-10. Archived from the original on 2009-02-13. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
  21. ^ Custer, C. (3 June 2013). "What to Expect on June 4, China's Unofficial and Orwellian 'Internet Maintenance Day'". Tech in Asia. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  22. ^ Honorof, Marshall (4 June 2013). "China marks Tiananmen Massacre with 'Internet Maintenance Day'". NBC News.
  23. ^ Jiang, Jessie (1 July 2011). "Beijing's Gay Community Fights Censorship". Time.
  24. ^ Chen, Yuxi (2019-02-12). "《流浪地球》遭大量改分?豆瓣:前500热评仅4人跨星修改". The Paper (in Chinese). Retrieved 2019-02-12.