Monday, April 28, 2008

China - rural Internet

China's rural Internet users more than double in 2007: report

The number of Internet users in the Chinese countryside surged 127.7 percent last year, thanks to double-digit economic growth and fast expanding rural network construction, state media said Friday.

The number of rural Internet users, most of them boys in middle or high school, grew to 52.6 million in 2007, the Xinhua news agency said, citing the China Internet Network Information Centre, a government think-tank.

Due to lower incomes and less education in the countryside, rural users still only make up a relatively small proportion of China's total online population.

China now has 221 million people online, more than in the United States, according to recent reports in the local media.

Among rural residents who have yet to go online, 53.3 percent do not know how to use computers or the Internet, while 23.1 percent lack Internet facilities, the centre said.

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