China's Internet People: Population Topping 500 Million
The spreading internet is meeting with new challenges.
Today, China's Internet Information Center (CNNIC) published its "29th Statistics Report on the State of China's Internet Development". The report displays: By the end of December 2011, the number of Chinese households using the web has increased to 250 Million. [The web] then became the most important medium of communication for its [users] when fetching news.
As to the extreme numbers mentioned in this report, I had some second thoughts like some of my visitors might have as well. Unfortunately, the meaning of that Chinese character 亿 used to express "100 Million" is not standardized. It might as well have the meaning of "extremely much" or "something about a million". Nevertheless, a closer look at the original statistics shows that such numbers are true (if the statistics are true at all). This can be concluded from the history of internet users' increase:
In July 2008 for example, the 22nd CNNIC report counted 253 Million internet users using a different Chinese character 万 for the description of that number and which has the traditional meaning of "10.000". Therefore, the 253 Million could be described as 25.300 times "10.000" (25.300万). And voilà, now everything is fitting perfectly. Quite ingenious those Chinese !
It must be added that an overall number of Chinese internet users of 5亿 or 500 Million should include even occasional users who are taking advantage of public computer installations (i.e. at university libraries or internet cafés) or who are working at private installations together with friends.
This goes together with 7,9 Million websites using the ".cn" domain in July 2011 which might hint at a certain restriction to users of the Chinese internet to freely build their personal homepages. Maybe, the ".com" or ".net" domains are being applied on a larger scale in China or subdomains like ".com.cn" are more extensive than expected. Unfortunately, there's no further information available.
The below picture is showing the concrete numbers of internet users and their development from 2004 to 2011. The latest number registered is 513,1 Million users which make up to 38,8% of China's population.
There's a related blogspot of mine that is providing further information:
Chinese Language Flooding the Web.