26 November, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile

mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato

e-mail this to a friend printable version

» 07/25/2008
China overtakes U.S. with world's largest internet community
There were 253 million Chinese internet users as of June 30, compared with 223.1 million in the United States. The web is widely used for business, shopping, and education, but above all to receive news that is often censored by the authorities. Strict control by Beijing, which arrests those who criticize the government and blocks unwelcome news.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) - With 253 million internet users registered at the end of June, China has surpassed the United States as the largest online community in the world, as the China Internet Network Information Centre announced yesterday. But censorship of "unwelcome" news is also growing.

Since June 30, 2007, there have been 91 million new users, a growth of 56%. 84.6% of these, or 214 million people, have high speed broadband connections. There are 12.19 million websites registered with the domain "cn", for "China".

The increase is in part due to the rapidity and relative freedom of information on the internet, both on some websites and in the forums. Events like the snowstorms in January and February, the earthquake in Sichuan in May, and the voyage of the Olympic torch were followed by millions of people through the internet, where they received news that was often not provided by the rigidly controlled Chinese media: 81.5% of Internet users, or 206 million people, read news online, compared to 71% in the United States and 67.1% in South Korea.

Liu Bing, director of research and development at the center, observes that the internet is becoming "the most influential mainstream medium with the biggest development potential", and emphasizes the low cost and the increasing demand in the countryside, and also the use of the internet for entertainment, for example to listen to music. He expects 285 million users by the end of 2008. The strong growth is significant in part because Beijing is encouraging the use of the internet for business and education purposes, but is trying to block access to sites that it considers "subversive" (these are often the sites that deal with human rights, and many foreign sites) or that provide pornography. Dozens of people have been arrested for posting to the internet articles or e-mails that are critical of the government, or "dangerous to national security". In March, access was blocked to the photos of the protests in Tibet posted on YouTube.

The internet is also used to exchange information and opinions, through forums, on issues of current affairs that the media and even websites themselves largely ignore: like episodes of misgovernment and injustice, which have repeatedly provoked fiery protests by tens of thousands of internet users in a few days.

Online shopping is also very widespread: in the first quarter of 2008, the Chinese website Baidu.com had a profit of 265 million yuan (26.5 million euros), an increase of 87%.

e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
03/25/2009 CHINA
Chinese bloggers protest blocking of YouTube
Second internet giant follows Google and pulls out of China
10/03/2009 CHINA
In Xinjiang it is a crime to even talk of separatism
02/17/2009 CHINA
Beijing is blocking many Catholic websites: is this how you fight pornography...
07/30/2008 CHINA
International Olympic Committee apologizes: we have "misled" the press

Editor's choices
Paris Massacre highlights the failure of Muslim integration in Europe
by Catherine FieldThe attack in the heart of France highlights the crisis of Europe’s model of coexistence. Social unrest, poverty and marginalisation feed youth extremism and radicalisation. A New Zealander journalist, expert on expertise in religion and interfaith dialogue, talks about it after undertaking a journey through the French Muslim world.
For Nîmes imam, Islam should not be held hostage by extremists
by Hochine DrouicheFrench imams condemn the Paris terrorist attacks and disassociate themselves from violence committed in "the name of our religion." At the same time, they ask Muslim communities to dare leading a life of dialogue and friendship with Europeans, without fear or arrogance. For centuries, Muslims have ruled out reason from their religious life. The vice president of French imams bears witness.
AsiaNews marks 12 years: Persecution and hope
by Bernardo CervelleraDespite a worldwide increase of ignorance, indifference and superficiality, many signs of love and hope resist even in the most gloomy situations: the Iraqi mother who gives birth to her child in a refugee camp and smiles even though she has nothing; the Indonesian Muslim mother who blesses her son who became a Christian and a priest; the Chinese Christian families that welcome children thrown away because of the one-child law.


Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.