The Internet Penetration Rate in China Surpassed the Global Average Level for the First Time
On January 13, 2009, China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) released the “23rd Statistical Survey Report on the Internet Development in China” in Beijing. According to the report, by the end of 2008, the Internet penetration rate of 22.6% in China had surpassed the global average level of 21.9% for the first time. Meanwhile, the amount of Internet users in China had reached 298 million, with 279 million broadband users. And the registration number of CN domain names reached 13.572 million. The three indexes continued to rank the first in the world.
The report also predicts that, with the advent of the 3G age, wireless Internet will display a trend of explosive growth. The Internet is undergoing a change from entertainment applications to the age of value-added applications. The application rates of practical use such as online job hunting and online shopping grow to a large extent, the application rates of entertainment such as online music and online video display the trend of falling.
The Internet Has Continued to Expand and the Online Commercial Value Has Doubled
The CNNIC report shows that the size of Internet users in China has been close to 300 million, increasing by 41.9% from 2007. The Internet penetration rate has reached 22.6%, slightly higher than the global average level (21.9%). The Internet penetration rate in China realized another leap forward, caught up with and surpassed the global average level after the size of Internet users in China surpassed that in the United States and ranked top in the world in June 2008.
At the same time, the survey shows that in the past half a year, 90.6% of the Chinese Internet users accessed the Internet via broadband, that is to say, 270 million Chinese Internet users accessed the Internet via broadband, increasing by over 100 million from 2007.
Besides, the amount of registrations of CN domain names increased by 50.8% from 2007, and the amount of websites under .CN increased by 120.3%. As an important fundamental resource of the Internet in China, CN domain names have been widely applied in various industries such as finance and automobile.
Mobile Internet Users Exceeded 100 Million, Explosive Growth Will Come
In relation to the rapid growth of online Internet, the growth of wireless Internet is also quite surprising. According to the report, as carriers paid more attention and the hardware cost of mobile phones kept falling, Internet users accessing the Internet via mobile phones in 2008 doubled, reaching 117 million. Accessing the Internet via mobile phones has gradually become a mainstream access method quietly.
Internet users’ Applications Habits Have Differentiated, and the Trend of “Entertainment as the Main Application” Has Begun to Decline
With the deepening of Internet applications, the differentiation of Internet users’ application trends appearing after the high speed growth of the Internet is especially outstanding in the 23rd report. The scale of entertainment applications that used to occupy an important position in Internet users’ life still grows rapidly, but the overall application rate displays a trend of declining for the first time.
According to the CNNIC report, in the survey of primary Internet application use rates, online job hunting, updating blogs and online shopping rank the top three among applications with the fastest growth, while the application rates of entertainment such as online music and online video display an obvious trend of declining.
The Urban-Rural Gap and the East-West Gap Are Likely to Narrow Gradually
The Internet penetration rate is, to a very large extent, determined by the development level of various regions. According to the statistical data of the CNNIC, by the end of 2008, the size of rural Internet users had reached 84.6 million, increasing by 31.9 million from 2007, with the growth rate surpassing 60%, far exceeding that of urban Internet users. With the great increase of the size of rural Internet users, the urban-rural gap is likely to narrow gradually.
The report also shows that in various provinces in China, the amount of Internet users in West China grow the fastest. Among 8 provinces whose growth rate was over 60%, 6 are in the western regions, including Qinghai, Yunnan and Guizhou, the three provinces with the fastest growth rate. This shows that the Internet in China is developing in a comprehensive and coordinated manner.
Today, when the Internet construction in the eastern and Central cities is becoming increasingly mature, the rural areas and the western regions still have very strong demand for the Internet, and this will become a driving force in the future development of the Internet in China.