Zhou was born near Shaoshan in Hunan province, China. Since 2004, he has been writing a blog documenting many sensitive issues in China, such as freedom of speech, Tibet, "nailhouses" and government censorship of the media. His blog has attracted a lot of interest in China and as such the authorities have tried to shut it down on several occasions. However, Zhou hosts his blog from servers in the United States to get around the blocks. Zhou advocates further reform in China and as a result travels around the country documenting cases of injustice. During a visit to Hong Kong in 2007, he described it as a "harmonious society".
Zhou is mentioned as a prominent blogger in foreign media. In one instance, he was invited to attend the Deutsche Welle citizen journalist awards on November 27, 2008, but was prevented from doing so.
2008 Tibetan unrest
2008 Guizhou riot
During the 2008 Guizhou riot, Zhou travelled to the area where interviews with the girls parents and photos of the riots aftermath were published on his website. His and other bloggers work were a major reason four Communist Party, local government and security officials were eventually fired for misuse of power.
On August 14, 2008 Zuola was detained for just over an hour in his hometown in Hunan province. He was able to tweet what was happening as he was led out of the house then forced into a vehicle where he was driven back to his hometown of Meitanba. After his release, Zuola was returned his computer, but set under a town arrest so he is not allowed to leave Meitanba.
Yang Jia case
Zhou was critical of the impartiality of the court proceedings in the Yang Jia case and along with others, signed an online petition demanding authorities investigate the causes of Yang Jia's murdering spree.
- "China Blacks Out Tibet News BusinessWeek, March 17, 2008.
- "July 1 Rally: A citizen reporter from China", Reading China blog, July 9, 2007.
- "Chinese Blogger Stopped from Attending DW Blog Awards", Deutsche Welle, November 25, 2008.
- Fowler, Geoffrey A.; Ye, Juliet (2008-07-07). "Chinese Bloggers Score a Victory Against the Government". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2008-07-07.
- Global Voices Online: "Citizen reporter Zuola carted off"
- "Chinese court approves cop killer's death sentence", Associated Press, November 25, 2008.