A Parallel Chinese-Language Internet Helps Immigrants Navigate Life in America

Frank Shyong, Los Angeles Times, May 3, 2016

When Grace Hui moved to Los Angeles from China in 2014 and Googled the Chinese characters for “Los Angeles immigrant,” the first result was Chineseinla.com.

The Chino Hills-based website, a disorganized Yelp-meets-Craigslist hybrid, was a throwback, and Hui, 29, thought some of the posts were phishing scams.

But with more than 680,000 listings, more than 350,000 registered users, 2 million monthly visits and sister sites in 15 cities, Chineseinla.com has become a teeming virtual portal to Chinese life in America. It’s one of the only ways that Hui could connect to a country she couldn’t understand.

“American Internet is useless to me,” said Hui, who used Chineseinla.com to look for a job. “My English isn’t good enough to get the information I need.”

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