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The Asian Region Internet
By Enrique de Argaez, MBA, webmaster
China's Internet community
has grown fast for the last seven years and official statistics
show that there are now nearly 103 million netizens in the
country. This is a dramatic jump from the 620,000 users recorded
The China Internet Network Information Centre's latest report
(CNNIC) shows that the number of users grew to 103 million at the end of December 2004. This represents a good
increase from the 80 million Internet users registered for
About 7 million new users were
recorded in the second half of last year, a growth similar to the
7 million recorded in the first six months of 2004.
China's Internet population
surpassed Japan by the end of 2002, jumping to the second place
in the world following the United States.
Although very large in size,
the current number of Internet users is only 7.9 per cent of
mainland China's total population.
The figures were released by
the government-funded CNNIC in its 15th semiannual report, the
most authoritative data on the Chinese Internet
The report shows that 30.9
million computers are connected to the Internet, up 20.1 per cent
from half a year ago. There are almost 60 million websites, up
25.7 per cent.
The domain names with a suffix
".cn," which indicates their Chinese nationality, has grown 35.7
per cent to above 34 million.
Although young people still
account for the majority of Internet users, the makeup of the age
groups has been changing.
In 1998, 91 per cent of all
netizens were between the ages of 18 and 30. By the end of last
year, that number had dropped to 51.3.
At the same time, the
percentage of netizens younger than 18 has grown to
Some 14.2 million adults aged
older than 35 have joined the ranks of Internet surfers in the
past six months, expanding the group's share to 17.8 per cent.
This group includes some 3 million senior citizens aged 50 and
Students and technicians still
make up the main body of the Internet community, respectively
accounting for 29.2 and 13.7 per cent.
The proportion of male and
female Internet users remained at about 3:2 during the past two
years. The average time people spend connected rose to 13.4 hours
a week. Most users, 66.1 per cent, surf the Internet at
Surveys conducted by CNNIC show
most people are using the Web to obtain information, including
news, e-books and daily life information.
It is interesting that using
the Internet for leisure ranks second among users, more than
study, getting to know friends, research or sending or receiving
Shopping online or doing other
e-businesses accounted for only 0.4 per cent of Internet
Despite the growth, analysts
fear the development of information technology and its
application is disproportioned across the country.
About one third of the
population in Beijing and Shanghai are netizens, but in poorer
areas such as Henan, Guizhou and Inner Mongolia, only 3 or 4 per
cent have online access.
For further information, see China Reports .
For Asia Internet Usage Stats, click here.
About the Author:
Enrique de Argaez
is the webmaster of the "Internet World Stats" website. Since 2000 he has been
tabulating Internet Usage Statistics, updating, and publishing
the statistics for 233 countries and regions of the world for the
use of the academia, the global business community and the
general public. For more information on Internet World Usage,
please visit: http://www.InternetWorldStats.com/stats.htm