Survey Report on Internet Development in Rural China 2007
For the last decade, Internet in China has experienced rapid development with the number of netizens increasing from 620,000 in 1997 to 162 million in June 2007, and its scope has increased by 260 times.
There is a remarkable issue of “Dual Structures”in China’s current development, which is reflected in various aspects between the East and West, the Urban and Rural, etc. the “Dual Structures” of Urban and Rural exist not only in the traditional areas of social, economic, and cultural life, but also in the area of Internet which was born a dozen years ago. The statistical survey for the gap in Internet development between urban and rural areas, however, is slightly weak until in late 2005 CNNIC Released the first data on the netizen scope of rural areas in China.
In June 2007, the netizen population of rural China reached 37.41 million and among the rural population of 737 million, the Internet penetration rate reached 5.1%; the netizen population in urban areas reached 125 million, with the penetration rate reaching 21.6%. While the netizen population in rural areas is only 30% of that in urban areas, the penetration ratio is slightly less than 1/4 (23.6%) that of in urban.
There is a large gap in the Internet development status between rural and urban areas while the gap in netizen population is gradually being bridged. The infrastructures related to rural Internet development are weak. By the end of 2006, the number of computers owned by the rural families was 2.7 per hundred families, far lower than the average of 47.2 per hundred families in urban areas. Compared to the number by the end of 2005, the number of computers owned by every hundred rural families increased by 0.6 while for urban families by 5.7, with the gap in Internet-related infrastructures still enlarging.
See also Statistical Reports on the Internet Development in China