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China has nearly 100 new Internet users per minute
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17:39, July 20, 2007

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China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) Wednesday released the 20th "Statistical Survey Report on the Internet Development in China". It was right in 10 years ago when CNNIC published its first report.

According to the report, as of June 30, China has had 162 million Internet users, only second to the United States, 211 million. Comparing to the end of 2006, it has 25 million new Internet users, which means the country reports nearly 100 new Internet users every minute.

Penetration rate below global average and most are young users

Although the annual growth rate of Internet users in China reaches 31.7%, entering a new stage of rapid growth, China's Internet penetration rate is only 12.3%, lower than the 17.6% as the global average. In some countries with more developed Internet construction such as the United States, Japan and South Korea, the penetration rate even exceeds 65%. So the gap is still significant. To be specific, China's Internet penetration rate of urban residents is 21.6%, and in rural areas, only 5.1%.

The age structure of Internet users is out of balance. Young people accounts for a large proportion. Internet users under the age of 25 account for over 50%. The proportion of users under the age of 30 even exceeds 70%.

Gender gap is gradually narrowing down. The proportion of female Internet users reaches 45.1%, rising to a record high point.

Internet infrastructure resources show explosive growth

China's Internet infrastructure resources are growing vigorously. At present, the total number of domain names in mainland has exceeded 9.18 million. The major impetus for the growth comes from the Chinese top-level domain names "CN", the annual growth rate of which reaches 416.5%. As of the end of June this year, the total number of "CN" domain names has reached 6.15 million, accounting for nearly 60% of the total number of domain names in China. It is for the first time for the number of registered "CN" domain names to exceed that of "COM". In a global context, China is only second to Germany in terms of the volume of CN domain names.

The report points out that every 10,000 Chinese people have 10 websites. As of June this year, China's website has reached 1.31 million, an increase of 470,000 in the past six months. Again, websites with "CN" domain names are growing the fastest, numbered 810,000. The substantial increase in website volume demonstrates the rapid development of Chinese information resources.

It is noteworthy that distinguishing from broadband and dial-up access, WAP Internet access has become the trend. Currently China has 55.64 million users using wireless access to the Internet, of which, about 44.3 million get to the Internet by using cell phones.

Users favor Internet for news reports but not "life tool"

About 13% of the Chinese families have access to the Internet at home, accounting for 73%, the report points out. Internet cafés have become the second largest Internet access sites.

The average weekly online hours for Chinese netizens are 18.6 hours, a bit longer than people in other countries. Usually, eight o'clock in the evening is the peak time for Internet surfing.

It is also shown that Internet news report ranks no.1 in usage rate of Chinese Internet access. About 77.3% of netizens read news online. About 74.8% and 69.8% of netizens use the functions of search engines and instant messaging.

Usage rates of three Internet entertainment applications -- Internet music, video and games, are also very high. About two thirds of the Internet users have experience in downloading or listening to music from the Internet. More than a half play online games.

By contrast, not many Chinese netizens use the Internet as life assistant or tools. Only 15% of them use the Internet for job-hunting and 25.5% do shopping online. Only 3.9% make online travel reservation and 20% get involved in online stocks buying and online banking. Professional analysts point out that there are mainly three reasons: 1, the Internet resources are not particularly rich enough; 2, at present, most of China's Internet users are young people whose consumption capacity is not that high; 3, many users are still worrying about Internet security.

Overall, 60% of the Internet users expressed satisfaction with the network, of which more than 80% said they were satisfied with the colorful content and sufficient information online. Meanwhile, despite the declining cost of Internet access year by year, the satisfaction rate on access cost also declines. Over 90% of netizens pay their bill by themselves. On average, the monthly expense on Internet access per person is 75.1 yuan. Nearly half of the Internet users spend no more than 50 yuan each month.

Only one third of netizens expressed their confidence in the Internet. The higher education they obtain, the lower trust they have.

Over 30% are students who need guidance

The number of 6-24 year-old young netizens reaches about 58 million, accounting for 35.8% of the total number of Internet users in the country. Of them, high school students, about 20 million, account for the largest proportion, followed by college students, around 18 million. Another 20 million are middle and primary school students. Nearly 75% of these young students are living in cities and nearly a half get Internet access in Internet cafés.

According to the report, most of the young netizens had their first experience with the Internet when they were 13 -16 years old, accounting for almost a half of the total student Internet users. Therefore, early years in junior high school and high school life are particularly important for strengthening education and guide as well as the supervision in Internet cafes.

Young web surfers give first priority to Internet entertainment and do not use the Internet as tools for learning and information collecting very often. Moreover, some young students are addicted to online surfing.

The report adds that it is noteworthy once students, especially primary and middle school students spend more than 20 hours weekly on the Internet. Those spend more than 40 hours every week should be given correct guidance.

By People's Daily Online



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