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China's Net Users Up 42pct to 298 Million
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msg:3827099
 2:54 pm on Jan 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

China's Net Users Up 42pct [news.bbc.co.uk] to 298 Million
China's online population, already the world's largest, has expanded to 298 million.

This marks a 41.9% increase on the previous year and is still growing fast, said the government-linked China Internet Network Information Centre.

The study also showed huge increases in the number of people in China accessing the internet through mobile phones.

The report by Cinic also noted that internet use in the countryside was increasing faster than in the cities.

At the end of 2008, the number of net users in China, which has a population of 1.3 billion, was almost the same as the entire population of the United States.


 

simstar




msg:3827308
 6:39 pm on Jan 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

Caught my eye as I'm currently writing an essay regarding China as an emerging market and how Globalization is effected by these markets.

China is growing so quickly and by 2020 its economy is estimated to be bigger than the US economy. The internet is an essential element of business today and with business heading China's way so will the internet.

I expect to see many more news articles similar to this one with even bigger growth in internet usage in China, India, Brazil etc.

nomis5




msg:3827439
 10:03 pm on Jan 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

Why the increase so much in mobile phone usage in China? It's the same for Japan. Why, in the West, are we not accessing the internet via mobiles to the same extent? There's something important here that maybe we are missing?

mack




msg:3827460
 10:43 pm on Jan 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

The mobile networks and handsets available in Japan for example are generations ahead of the devices we have available in the west. My guess would be the devices are a lot more usable for every day web tasks that the current 2.5g/3g devises we currently use.

Mack.

callivert




msg:3827483
 11:07 pm on Jan 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

According to the article, over a third of all users are "mobile net users," ie using the internet through their mobile phones.
China is growing so quickly and by 2020 its economy is estimated to be bigger than the US economy.

...if current trends continue exactly as they have been doing in the recent past.
This is an important qualification. Any number of roadblocks could fall in China's path between now and 2020.

The people who draw a line between two dots and then make it go all the way into the future (ie projecting current trends forwards) are the same people that brought us the magic of house prices that never go down, a sharemarket where everyone was a winner, and the non-existent population explosion.

Clearly China is developing rapidly and becoming more powerful, but the future is not set in stone. Neither is China's destiny (nor America's decline).

bill




msg:3827548
 12:58 am on Jan 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

A majority of Japan's early growth in net access was directly attributable to phone access. The Japanese have been accessing the web via a phone in Japan since the late 1990s. NTT DoCoMo's iMode really got things moving in that direction, but because they operated within a walled garden for all their sites most people never even knew they were surfing the net. When calculating net population they would simply add all of the phone subscriptions. That tends to inflate numbers a bit. That's the same thing that's happening to China now almost a decade later.

As mack pointed out, we've got some pretty impressive phone technology over here. Standard Japanese phones have GPS, wireless credit cards/train passes, digital broadcast TV, multi-megapixel cameras (I saw one with 8MP the other day), high-speed data transfer (7+Mbps), and many other options I don't see offered in the West yet. They've always been a bit ahead in that regard.

China is foregoing a lot of the wired technology and skipping straight to wireless/mobile. When talking to some friends in China they often say that they don't even have a land line. All they have is mobile. That frees up some of the infrastructure demands and allows them to leap ahead a bit. They had some pretty impressive phones available in Shanghai last time I visited.

simstar




msg:3827760
 12:22 pm on Jan 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

...if current trends continue exactly as they have been doing in the recent past.
This is an important qualification. Any number of roadblocks could fall in China's path between now and 2020.

2020 is not too far in the future and it involves far more than drawing a line between two dots. It is easy to see to anyone that China is going to overtake the US very soon (within the next 10-40 years).

nomis5




msg:3827773
 1:03 pm on Jan 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

The Japanese may have bypassed the wired technology and gone straight to wireless as you say. But, here in the UK anyway, I can go almost anywhere in the country with a dongle in my computer (you know what i mean!) and hey presto I have wireless internet access, albeit via a mobile based network. But why do the Chinese / Japanese so prefer a mobile over a small laptop? Both can access the internet wireless, or maybe laptops can't in China?

Is it purely the cost of the mobile over the laptop or something else?

bill




msg:3828339
 8:56 am on Jan 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

The Japanese may have bypassed the wired technology and gone straight to wireless as you say.

No, that was the Chinese I was talking about. The Japanese have an extensive wired network [google.com].

But why do the Chinese / Japanese so prefer a mobile over a small laptop?

Wireless access in Japan via a dongle is just as common. However, it's not that they prefer one over the other. It's just that every phone in Japan has Internet access. It's been that way for about a decade now. I was just saying that when they do these Internet census proclamations they're including more than just wired PCs.

wangjianshuo




msg:3832995
 11:34 am on Jan 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

This is just my guess about why Chinese use mobile much more than Japanese or American.

1. More Hand-Free. With relatively very low penatration of cars in China, most of people either walk, or take bus to move. Their hands are not occupied. There is much more waiting time than average American (this is very similiar in Japan).

2. Chinese characters. With the same area of screen, Chinese characters can deliver much more information than English. Maybe it is a better user experience.

3. It is not "prefer", it is the only choice. For most of the users who access Internet via mobile, they have no option to access computer at all. Think about these two numbers: there are 298 million Internet users, and the number of Mobile users was already 547 million (twice as Internet users). Among the Internet users, 1/4 or more of them don't have a computer - they access via public Internet cafe. If I am presented a choice of using computer or mobile, I may prefer to use computer, but what if computer is not an option?

Just my two cents.

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