China's online population passes 400 million: state media

May 1, 2010
An Internet cafe in Beijing. The number of Internet users in China, already the largest in the world, has surpassed 400 million and accounts for almost a third of the country's population, state media reported.

The number of Internet users in China, already the largest in the world, has surpassed 400 million and accounts for almost a third of the country's population, state media reported Saturday.

The online population in the world's most populous nation has reached 404 million, the official Xinhua news agency said, citing the State Council Information Office.

That compares with 384 million users at the end of 2009.

Users accessing the Internet with mobile phones was steady at 233 million while the number of people with broadband access reached 346 million, the report said.

China's 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 about the Internet's potential as a tool for generating social unrest, and authorities have stepped up surveillance in recent years.

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

Explore further: China cracks down on blogs, search engines

Related Stories

China cracks down on blogs, search engines

June 30, 2006

(AP) -- China's Internet regulators are stepping up controls on blogs and search engines to block material it considers unlawful or immoral, the government said Friday.

China world's largest Internet market

April 22, 2008

A Chinese research firm said China has surpassed the United States as the world's largest Internet market based on number of users.

China web users 'outnumber US population'

July 26, 2009

The number of Internet users in China is now greater than the entire population of the United States, after rising to 338 million by the end of June, state media reported Sunday.

China cracks down on online games: report

December 25, 2009

China has placed more than 4.65 million computers at some 80,000 Internet cafes under watch in a bid to crack down on violent or pornographic online games, state media reported Friday.

China eyes 500 million web users

March 25, 2010

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.

Recommended for you

Nevada researchers trying to turn roadside weed into biofuel

November 26, 2015

Three decades ago, a University of Nevada researcher who obtained one of the first U.S. Energy Department grants to study the potential to turn plants into biofuels became convinced that a roadside weed—curly top gumweed—was ...

Glider pilots aim for the stratosphere

November 20, 2015

Talk about serendipity. Einar Enevoldson was strolling past a scientist's office in 1991 when he noticed a freshly printed image tacked to the wall. He was thunderstruck; it showed faint particles in the sky that proved something ...

The ethics of robot love

November 25, 2015

There was to have been a conference in Malaysia last week called Love and Sex with Robots but it was cancelled. Malaysian police branded it "illegal" and "ridiculous". "There is nothing scientific about sex with robots," ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

3.7 / 5 (3) May 01, 2010
What can I say. I'm all for liberty of speech, and in the Nordic Countries we've traditionally enjoyed a level of liberty of speech that makes even the U.S. look like a banana republic.

Still, when thinking of China, I actually think they must have this Great Firewall. Exposing politically naive and poorly educated masses to the sudden and unprecedented influence of demagogues and populists, and even deliberate mayhem makers, is a sure recipe for unrest and disaster.

Probably within a generation they will slowly grow out of this censorship need. But today, it's a must. I think it is both insensitive and childish of various civil rights groups and America to harass China on this one. We in the West don't need a Civil War in China!

Remember, already they've turned an elephant on a dime, from Communism, without a civil war. Give them some slack, please.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.