By June 30, 2004, the total number of Internet users in China had reached 87.0 million, which increased by 27.9% over a 12 month period, according to the "14th Statistical Survey Report on the Internet Development in China" lately published by China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC).
By June 30 China had 627,000 websites, a rise of 32.3 percent over the previous year, the report said. Experts say this is a demonstration of the country's vigorously moving Internet industry. Viewing from regions, 84 percent websites still gathered in north, east and south China.
Domain names registered under CN had reached 382,000, of which 79.1 percent were from north, east and south China. Beijing had the biggest number of domain names, (24.3 percent of national total), about 240 times that of Qinghai (0.1 percent), the province of the smallest number of domain names.
The huge regional gap in Internet development can never be ignored, CNNIC leaders said, since the digital gap will further intensify the imbalance between west and east China, between urban and rural areas and between mental and physical workers, and may bring serious social problems.
Half Internet surfers connect through broadband
Internet users connected through broadband will become majority and broadband will become the major access means, said Wu Hequan, academician from the Chinese Academy of Engineering at the 7th West China Forum held on August 9.
17.7 percent Internet surfers used ADSL/Cable Modern, growing 77.6 percent in six months. Counting LAN surfers, the number of broadband users had exceeded half of the total number. In 2003 China's leased line users grew 315 percent, while dial-up users only increased 1.67 percent.
By People's Daily Online