The online population of China has officially surpassed that of the United
States, making it the world’s largest internet marketplace.
China finished 2007 with 210 million internet users, compared to 216 million in
the U.S., but surged to more than 233 million by the end of March, according to
estimates by BDA China, a Beijingbased research group. China’s internet
population is growing at an astounding rate, showing growth of 53% in 2007
alone, and there is room for considerably more growth, with the country’s
internet population standing at just 17% of its 1.3 billion citizens.
BDA chairman, Duncan Clark, says that the rapid growth in internet population is
a symptom of China’s ongoing economic boom.
Although the communist government “continues to filter the Net and encourage
selfcensorship, it also has a mandate to promote cheaper technology and the
knowledge economy,” Clark said, noting that stateowned internet service
providers such as China Netcom, are now offering broadband service for as little
as $10 a month.
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