China eyes 500 million web users

March 25, 2010
Customers are seen playing online games at a internet cafe in Beijing. A top Chinese official has said the nation's online population, already the largest in the world, is expected to exceed 500 million in the next two to three years.

A top Chinese official has said the nation's online population, already the largest in the world, is expected to exceed 500 million in the next two to three years.

Three-quarters of the web newcomers over the next few years would be from rural areas, the Global Times newspaper quoted Qian Xiaoqian, vice minister in the State Council's press office, as saying.

China already has 384 million online users, according to the latest official figures.

Its spiralling online population has turned the Internet into a forum for citizens to express their opinions in a way rarely seen in a country where the traditional media is under strict government control.

The growing strength and influence of the web population has prompted concern in Beijing about the Internet's potential as a tool for generating social unrest, and authorities have stepped up surveillance in recent years.

The government blocks web content that it deems politically sensitive in a vast system dubbed the "Great of China".

On Monday, Internet giant said it had decided to redirect mainland web search queries to an uncensored site in Hong Kong to try to counter China's -- a move that triggered an angry response from .

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Royale
3 / 5 (2) Mar 25, 2010
Keep on sticking it to those commies, Google! Before they go to war against the US, we should have some of their people on our side. Getting all the facts is the only way to ensure that, and since they'll be the next superpower it's much better to act now, not later.
zielwolf
5 / 5 (1) Mar 25, 2010
And I could imagine a livid response from the Australian Department of Broadband and Communications who are just about ready to introduce legislation letting the government block web content it deems sensitive in a vast system called the "Mandatory Filter".

Great timing Google, thanks a lot. If it weren't an electoral democracy we just might have to block YouTube in Australia for a while, you know, just to let you know who's boss...
frajo
4 / 5 (1) Mar 25, 2010
Before they go to war against the US, we should have some of their people on our side.
There are indeed some countries who are known for attacking other countries without having been attacked by them. China is not one of these countries.
Royale
3 / 5 (2) Mar 25, 2010
Not until they become a super-power. (You don't want to go into battle until you're sure you can win). As of now, they can be like Chinese in video games and 'zerg' the hell out of us. Without a draft we'd be way to far extended. With a draft we'd probably win at this point.
frajo
not rated yet Mar 25, 2010
Not until they become a super-power.
Is your assumption based on video games? What do you know about a culture that is one magnitude older than that of the current military superpower?
Royale
1 / 5 (1) Mar 26, 2010
Not until they become a super-power. (You don't want to go into battle until you're sure you can win). As of now, they can be like Chinese in video games and 'zerg' the hell out of us. Without a draft we'd be way to far extended. With a draft we'd probably win at this point.
Royale
3 / 5 (2) Mar 26, 2010
Sorry about the double post. Damn caching in Mozilla, if I refresh I lose whatever I typed and I wasn't sure if I sent it or not.
Well, the word 'zerg' is based on video games, and just means having a much greater amount of numbers. This in itself doesn't produce military might; but it helps. I don't know much about the culture, honestly, but if it were me and I was finally able to read anything I wanted to politically it may change some of my opinions. I think their sheer size/current industrial revolution will push them into superpower status. Without allies it would be a tough road. Remember history is littered with the rise and fall of super-powers. It's inevitable that we'll get superseded. You can be in denial, that's fine; but you have to realize that it's only a matter of time, and right now China seems to offer the best chance against us. (If they so choose). I'm not saying for sure that they will, but let's be honest, we can't say that they won't either.
frajo
1 / 5 (1) Mar 26, 2010
I don't know much about the culture, honestly,

Then read this teaser: http://en.wikiped...Zheng_He

I think their sheer size/current industrial revolution will push them into superpower status.
Of course. And it will be better times for mankind.
Royale
3 / 5 (2) Mar 26, 2010
Better times for who exactly? If you're a communist superpower I'd presume you're looking to share your own power base, as I've seen with every other example of communism. It never gets past the few on top part, even though true communism is supposed to. There can't be two world superpowers so are you implying if China becomes number one over the US everything will be better?? Maybe all of our internet can be firewalled and blocked like we're fifth graders. Wouldn't that be swell.
frajo
not rated yet Mar 26, 2010
Maybe all of our internet can be firewalled and blocked
You forgot to consider that mainland China is not firewalling Chinese Hongkong.
Royale
not rated yet Mar 29, 2010
No their not. Because businessmen won't be doing their battles in the future. It's the kids growing up on the mainland who will be.
frajo
not rated yet Mar 29, 2010
No their not. Because businessmen won't be doing their battles in the future. It's the kids growing up on the mainland who will be.
There's no need for battles. No country on this planet has greater potential and greater willingness of adaptation than China. Hongkong being just one proof: "One country - two systems" is unparalleled in the West.
China's next generations will shape the country with political, economic, and scientific progress that will surpass and outclass the old Western order even from the aspect of democracy - without falling prey to the demons of capitalism.

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