Although mainland China has the largest internet population, its penetration of 19.1% lags far behind developed nations like the US and Japan and is also slightly lower than the average Internet penetration rate in the world, 21.1%. Chinese Internet users log an average of 2 billion hours online each week, while the figure for US Internet users stands at 129 million.
Broadband makes up the majority of Internet connections in China, with 214 million users at this service tier. The price of a broadband connection places it well within the reach of the mainland Chinese middle class. Wireless, especially the mobile phone internet access has developed rapidly. 73.05 million or 28.9% of all internet users are mobile phone users. The number of dial-up users peaked in 2004 and since then has decreased sharply.
|Report Date||Internet Users||Connected Computers||.cn Domains||Broadband Users||Dialup Users||Wireless Users||International Bandwidth||Internet Penetration Rate|
|2008.07.31||253 M||84.7 M||11,900,144||214 M||N/A||73.05 M||493,729 Mbit/s||19.1%|
|2007.12.31||210 M||78 M||9,002,000||163.4 M||23.4 M||58.8 M||368,927 Mbit/s||16%|
|2007.06.30||162 M||67.1 M||6,149,851||122.4 M||31.6 M||55.6 M||312,346 Mbit/s||12.3%|
|2006.12.31||137 M||59.4 M||1,803,393||90.7 M||39.0 M||256,696 Mbit/s||10.5%|
|2006.06.30||123 M||54.5 M||1,190,617||77 M||47.5 M||214,175 Mbit/s||9.4%|
|2006.01.17||111 M||49.5 M||1,096,924||64.3 M||51 M||8.5%|
|2005.07.21||103 M||45.6 M||622,534||53 M||49.5 M||7.9%|
|2005.01.19||94 M||41.6 M||432,077||42.8 M||52.4 M||7.3%|
|2004.07.20||97 M||36.3 M||380,000||31.1 M||51.5 M||6.7%|
|2004.01.15||79.5 M||30.89 M||340,000||17.4 M||49.16 M||6.2%|
|2003.07.21||68 M||25.72 M||250,000||9.8 M||50.1 M||5.3%|
|2003.01.16||59.1 M||20.83 M||179,000||6.6 M||40.8 M||4.6%|
|2002.07.22||45.8 M||16.13 M||126,000||2 M||26.82 M||3.6%|
|2002.01.15||33.7 M||12.54 M||127,000||N/A||21.33 M|
|2001.07.17||26.5 M||10.02 M||128,000||N/A||17.93 M|
|2001.01.17||22.5 M||8.92 M||122,000||N/A||15.43 M|
|2000.07.27||16.9 M||6.5 M||990,000||N/A||11.76 M|
|2000.01.18||8.9 M||3.5 M||48,000||N/A||6.66 M|
|1999.12.05||4 M||1.46 M||29,000||N/A||2.56 M|
The interconnection between these networks is a big concern of Internet users, since Internet traffic via the global Internet is quite slow. However, major Internet services providers are reluctant to aid rivals, despite the pressure from the government.
The June 2007 CNNIC report states that 54.9% Internet users are male, 57.9% are unmarried, and 51.2% are under 25 years old. The majority of Internet users have at least a college diploma. Among the users, 36.7% are students, and 25.3% are enterprise staff. 33.9% users earn more than 1500 yuan a month, however, if student users are left out, this percent goes rises to 53.6%. China's Internet is highly internally referential, with fewer than 6% of China's websites linking to outside the country
In 2003, Internet activists and journalists led an online uprising that eventually forced the abolishment of the Custody and repatriation procedure, and the establishment of the constitutional committee in the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress In June, 2006, New York Times reported the online throngs and Internet hunting fought corruptions but also led to violence
|China||Share of searches (%)|
As one of The Golden Projects, the Golden Shield project was proposed to the State Council by Premier Zhu Rongji in 1993. As a massive surveillance and content control system, it was launched in November 2000, and became known as the Great Firewall of China. However, the blocking of websites can be circumvented and is generally ineffective at preventing the flow of information to determined individuals. The effectiveness of the project is the limitation on access it creates for the majority of users who are not technologically savvy or intent on seeking information. Some argue that it is more effective at providing a Chilling effect rather than actually blocking content.
The Internet has provided some interesting tactics for the dissemination of news. In contrast to some early fears that the fluidity of web content would make it easy to rewrite history and strengthen the hand of the government, the opposite appears true. One common tactic in publishing sensitive topics is to post the article on a newspaper website, and then comply with government orders to take it down. By the time the article is removed, people will have read it negating the point of the censorship order.
However, in fear of closure, online service providers sometimes hire moderators known as big mama to monitor user-provided content. Nevertheless, some officially supported websites such as the Strong Country Forum hosted by the People's Daily are less restricted than others in discussing sensitive topics.
The Chinese Internet is awash with adware that spread and conceal themselves and pop-up ads. According to Sophos, 30% of malware samples detected by Sophos last year were written in China Many of this malware is of the Trojan horse variety, designed to steal game accounts such as QQ numbers for real-money trade Few malware authors had been arrested.
In addition, the browser search bar is being sought by various browser hijackers, and each one tries to protect itself from being uninstalled by a competitor. Several lawsuits were fired between their developers for "unfair competition", such as CNNIC, Baidu and Yahoo! China. Chinese antivirus producers don't identify them as malware, citing the difficulty of malware classification and the risk of law suits.
In July 2006, Qihoo, led by Zhou Hongyi, the former chief of the Yahoo! Assistant producer 3721, launched an antimalware software campaign. Several malicious software operators are being sued in September. However, Qihoo is also sued by Yahoo! China for defamation, as Qihoo 's antivirus software 360safe identifies Yahoo! Assistant as malware.
The China Anti-Malware Alliance filed lawsuits against eBay China and Yahoo! China in September 2006 , and sued CNNIC in the next month The China Anti-Malware Alliance also complained to the Ministry of Information Industry (MII) about China Telecom's dialer software that directs users to certain sites and changes users' homepages automatically