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More Chinese firms turn to Internet amid economic slowdown

(Xinhua)

08:22, August 07, 2012

More Chinese enterprises have taken to the Internet to do business.(Photo/China Daily)

BEIJING, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) -- An increasing number of Chinese enterprises have taken to the Internet to do business more effectively and efficiently in light of the current economic downturn, according to data from the country's Internet regulator.

China had 8.73 million registered domain names at the end of June, and 3.98 million were registered using ".cn" domain names, the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) said Monday.

The number of Chinese websites using ".cn" domain names in the first half of this year was up 460,000 from the end of 2011, marking the fastest biannual growth since 2008, according to CNNIC.

The ".cn" suffix is a so-called Top Level Domain for China, like ".com" or ".net," and individuals and companies seeking to create a web address are required to be approved by CNNIC.

Of those newly-added ".cn" websites, about 71 percent were domestic companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

"This shows that a number of SMEs are beginning to promote their own brands and services through the Internet," CNNIC said in a statement.

China has the world's largest number of Internet users, with an online population of 538 million by the end of June, including 210 million online shoppers, data released by CNNIC last month showed.

China's e-commerce transactions totaled 5.88 trillion yuan (933 billion U.S. dollars) last year, up 29.2 percent year on year, according to the Ministry of Commerce (MOC).

According to the MOC, over 40 percent of Chinese SMEs have used e-commerce to maintain rapid growth, as a worsening external environment, rising labor costs and tightened credit have created difficulties for SMEs.

The Chinese economy expanded 7.8 percent year on year in the first six months, marking the slowest growth in three years.

The Chinese Internet watchdog's permission for individuals to register ".cn" domain names again since May also helped boosted the popularity of the ".cn" suffix, as 94,000 personal websites have been registered, CNNIC said.

CNNIC had prohibited individuals from registering websites with the domain name ".cn" since December 2009, when a nationwide crackdown on pornographic websites and portals containing "illegal and hazardous" information was launched.

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