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How Many Internet Users Are There in China?

Though the Internet started comparatively late in China, the Internet technology grows at a surprisingly fast speed. On July 22, 2002, China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) released its Survey Report on China's Internet Development.

According to the report, by June 30, 2002, the number of Internet users in China had reached 45.8 million, increasing by 12.1 million in the past six months. The figure is 73 times that the result in the first survey carried out in October 10, 1997. Consequently, the number of Internet users in China ranked No. 3 after the United States and Japan. What's more, as the users increase, the websites keep growing fast and the total number of websites has reached 0.3 million.

According to some analysts, the sudden increase of netizens is mainly due to the development of Internet infrastructure and the dramatic cost decrease, as a result of restructuring of China telecommunication companies.

The report indicates that the number of male Internet users is 27.892 million, 51 times the figure five years ago and accounting for 60.9% of the total number. While female Internet users amount to 17.90 million, 236 times the figure five years ago and accounting for 39.1% of the total number. Therefore, males are still the majority of Internet users.

The results of the tenth CNNIC survey show that 58.9% Internet users are single and 41.1% are married. Single ones are still the majority of Chinese Internet users. Among the users aged below 35, 83.84% are unmarried male Internet users.

The survey indicates that by the end of June 30, 2002, China's PC online had reached 16.13 million, among which 3.15 million were ISDN users and 12 million were dial-up users, which also reflects a trend of diversification of Internet access.

The increase of Internet users and websites might enable China to be one of the giants in the Internet field. In ten years, China will become the Internet center of the world, predicted Li Xing, the deputy director of China Internet Network Information Center.

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