January 27, 2007
China's Netizens May Overtake US
China's internet users are increasing by leaps and bounds. According to its state-controlled think-tank, China "could soon overtake the US to have the world's largest number of internet users."
China had 137m internet users by the end of 2006, an increase of 23% from the year before, the China Internet Network Information Center told state media.
This figure means that more than 10% of the population is now online. China will only surpass this number if it keeps up a 24% annual growth rate in the next two years.
The Chinese government encourages people to go online for education or business purposes. The rapid rise in internet use has boosted the country's online commerce, advertising and games industries.
About 210 million of America's 300 million people now use the internet, according to US government figures.