China web users 'outnumber US population'

Jul 26, 2009
A man uses a laptop in Beijing. 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 have reported.

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's online population, the largest in the world, rose by 40 million in the first six months of 2009, the official Xinhua news agency reported, citing a report by the Internet Network Information Center.

The number of broadband Internet connections rose by 10 million to 93.5 million in the first half of the year, the report said.

About 95 percent of townships were connected to broadband by early June and 92.5 percent of villages had telephone lines that could be used for Internet access, Xinhua said, citing the official data.

Rural coverage is expected to improve as the country's three telecoms operators, China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom invest 280 billion yuan (40 billion dollars) in a national over the next year, vice president Lu Xiangdong was quoted as saying last week.

China's fast-growing online population has made the Internet a forum for the country's citizens to express their opinions in a way rarely seen in the traditional, strictly government-controlled media.

The growing strength and influence of the web has prompted concern in Beijing about potential social unrest, and the government has stepped up its control over the Internet in recent years.

After rioting early this month in the capital of the restive northwest Xinjiang region, the government cut off online access to most of the area, in one of the largest known Internet blackouts in China yet.

It has also blocked access to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and a range of other sites used for networking and sharing content.


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User comments : 2

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LucFerris
1 / 5 (1) Jul 26, 2009
The entire point of the internet is the exchange of thought. Blocking any source of thought on the internet is just plain stupid. There, I said it, the Chinese government is stupid. They may have more internet users, but thought is still constricted. They don't care about the evolution of human thought. Personally, I think they are just scared. . .like little puppies....scared of humanity and its potential.

Fuck em.
RayCherry
not rated yet Jul 27, 2009
The cultures of East and West have been separated politically for a hundred years, and geographically for thousands. Exposing these cultures to each other is not going to have completely predictable results, and it cannot be said that all of the consequences are good. The majority are. If you read the text carefully, you will see that more Internet access is being given, and that America may find itselt trailing in Internet (social, educational, business and cultural) development soon.

As for government control over what its people can and cannot access ... don't convince yourself that only the Chinese have blocked certain sites. Every government has a top level control over what information passes internationally, and even within the American population of Internet Service Providers and Universities you find "missing links", and/or better performance from sites on the 'preferred list'.

It has been that way since the beginning, and it can only grow as we centralise our Search Engine Data.