Entertainment tops Net users list
Most of the country's Internet users go online to chat or seek entertainment
rather than look for jobs or conduct business.
According to a report released by China Internet Network Information (CNNIC)
yesterday, China's Internet users totaled 162 million in the first six months of
this year. The country reported 137 million users last year.
The rapid growth could be translated into almost 100 new users per minute in
the past six months.
At this rate of increase, China is expected to overtake the United States,
the world's leader, by the end of next year. The US had 211 million Internet
users at the end of last month.
Although the number of China's Internet users has been on the rise since
1994, when first introduced to the country, the research showed most users were
interested in chat rooms and entertainment, and not job searches, education, and
About 75 percent read online news and used search engines for information.
More than 60 percent regarded online music and videos as an important source
Only 21 percent used e-banking services, and 3.9 percent booked tickets
through the Internet.
Wang Enhai, an official with CNNIC, and an author of the report, said the
phenomenon is due to China's Internet infancy and the fact most users were young
"China's Internet market is just emerging and there are still a lot of things
to be done before a mature online business environment can be established," Wang
According to CNNIC, the number of China's Internet users under 24 years old
was 58 million, about 35.8 percent of the country's total Internet population.
This segment of the population, comprising mostly students, spends a lot of
time playing online games, listening to music and watching videos.
"We suggest the government is be more active in steering away youths from
these activities," Wang said.