RSS feed Get our RSS feed

News by Topic

BizReport : Research archives : January 22, 2008

China almost world's largest online community

China is fast becoming the nation with the most people online, with some experts predicting it will overtake the U.S. online population early this year.

by Helen Leggatt

cnnic%20china%20logo.gifChina’s online population grew by a healthy 54 percent in 2007. In 2006, the number of Chinese online was 137 million, by the end of 2007 that figure had risen to 210 million.

In contrast, the U.S. had 216 million Internet users at the end of 2007 (Nielsen/NetRatings), only 5 million more than China. Subsequently, China is on track to become the world’s largest online community.

However, online penetration figures tell another story. China’s online penetration of 16 percent is way behind America’s 75 percent. A spokesman from Pew believes China is approximately 15 years behind the U.S. and on a very different point along the adoption curve.

Meanwhile, network coverage continues to expand in China. While most of China’s internet population resides in urban areas, figures recently released by the official China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) show a marked increase in users in rural areas – around 40 percent of the 73 million newbies that connected in 2007.

The CNNIC report also breaks down the most popular online activities amongst the Chinese population. Entertainment is the most popular sector with most applications, 86.6 percent, being music related followed by instant messaging (81.4 percent), videos (76.9 percent), news (73.6 percent) and search (72.4 percent).

Despite the figures, the fact remains that only a relatively small number of Chinese have access to the Internet, or a computer. "China's admittedly impressive user statistics hide an important fact: only a fraction of those users have regular access to a PC," said David Wolf, CEO of Wolf Group Asia, via the NYT.

Tags: China, internet penetration, internet population, U.S.

Subscribe to BizReport



Copyright © 1999- BizReport. All rights reserved.
Republication or redistribution of BizReport content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
BizReport shall not be liable for any errors in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.