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China trotting into the Internet age
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14:30, October 01, 2007

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It was learnt from the "2007 China Internet Conference" held recently in Beijing that as of the first half of this year, the number of Chinese websites has reached 1.31 million, increasing 60.4% over the previous year; Chinese Internet users reached 162 million, 39 million more than the previous year, an increase of 31.7%; Internet penetration rate reached 12.3%, the international exit broadband amounted to 312G.

Internet penetration accelerating

At the "2007 China Internet Conference" held on September 24th, Vice Minister of Information Industry Xi Guohua said, "Featured with open access, technology penetration and interactive information dissemination, the Internet network is closely linked to human life and production, and widely penetrated into political, economic, social, military, scientific, technological, cultural, education and other fields. It has become a new tool for modern social production, a new means for scientific and technological innovation, a new carrier of economic and trade cooperation, a new platform of public services, a new way of popular culture spread and a new space of new human entertainment life." According to incomplete statistics of People's Daily Online, Xinhuanet.com, Sohu.com, Sina.com and CCTV website, during the "two sessions" period of this year alone several hundred thousand pieces of advice and questions have been submitted online.

The Central Party School professor Shen Baoxiang pointed out that the public is actually exercising their democratic rights by participating in political discussion. This is a new way and method to use the Internet to promote democratic and political development basing on high technology.

In Suqian city of Jiangsu Province, more than 81 cadres above deputy chief level opened their own blogs, publishing a total of over 1,700 articles, which covers topics of foreign investment invitation, industrial breakthrough, universal entrepreneurship, urban construction, efficient and outward agriculture, new rural construction, etc. The number of visits amounted to 760,000 person-times.

Spam proliferation effectively curbed

On March 30, 2006 the "Internet e-mail service management approach" took effect, which filled in the blank of legislation for spam management. On August 16, 2006, Guangdong Provincial Communication Administration issued the first ticket for administrative punishment with 5,000 yuan of fine to a company in Shenzhen which sent junk emails in accordance with the "Approach", and ordered it to stop spam.

To bring into full play the supervisory role of the whole society, the Ministry of Information Industry of China asked China Internet Association to establish an "Anti-spam Center" on February 21 last year, and announced a reporting telephone, mail box and website. By the end of August this year, the number of spam reports has exceeded 330,000.

A survey of China Internet Association showed that in the first quarter of 2006, junk e-mails accounted for 64% of the total email received by Chinese Internet users; while recent surveys show that the proportion has fallen to 58%. China's anti-spam achievement has won recognition from the international community. Internationally renowned network security agencies Sophos released a report, showing that in early 2006 21.9% of the junk mails were issued from China; now the ratio has fallen to 7.5%.

Large gap exists in Internet penetration rate

Xi Guohua pointed out that with the rapid development of Internet technology and in-depth penetration of the society, its impact continues to grow. However, China should also be aware of some problems that may restrict the development of the Internet.

The Conference agrees that China's Internet development is still not satisfactory in many aspects. Lower penetration rate, regional differences in development, over-wide gap of Internet profitability, low-end competition and unsatisfactory virtual civilization have created a bottleneck retaining the development of the Internet industry.

Deputy Director of Telecommunications Administration of the Ministry of Information Industry Han Xia noted that although China's Internet penetration rate reached 12.3%, up nearly 3% compared with last year, it still has a large gap with the 60% of the United States, Japan, South Korea, etc. In different regions the gap between the levels of development is also constantly widening.

Developing green and harmonious network environment

Government and industry signed joint declaration for building up ethical and harmonious Internet.

On September 25, the Ministry of Information Industry, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce and China Internet Association jointly held China Internet Conference Green Network Culture Construction Forum in Kunshan, Jiangsu Province. More than 200 representatives from the government, academia and industry jointly issued "Ethical Internet Declaration", calling for creating a green, safe and healthy Internet environment.

By People's Daily Online

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