Digital Gap Wide in Taiwan

Taiwan lags developed economies in digitization and noticeable gaps exist between Taiwan's urban and rural areas and between the rich and poor, according to reports from Taipei Sunday.

Citing an assessment made by an international information industry organization, the reports said Taiwan's spending in Internet content technology was only 4.8 percent as a ratio to it' s gross domestic product in 1999, far lower than 8.9 percent in the United States and 7.1 percent in Japan posted in the same year.

There is a difference of 61.3 percentage points in computer ownership rate between Taiwan's wealthiest and the poorest families in 1999. At the same time, differences between the two groups in mobile phone ownership and Internet access rates also reached 67.1 percentage points and 40 percentage points, respectively.

In terms of urbanization, a gap of 30.8 percentage points in family computer ownership exits between Taiwan's urban and rural areas, while the gap in mobile phone ownership rates and Internet access rates was 23.7 percentage points and 18.1 percentage points, respectively.

In terms of regions, Taiwan's northern region posted the highest ratio in family computer and mobile phone penetration rates, which were 28.7 percentage points and 21.7 percentage points ahead of the island's eastern region. The divide in Internet connection rates was 12.4 percentage points.

People's Daily Online ---