[Air-L] percentage of Internet access?

Jay Hauben hauben at columbia.edu
Sat Dec 13 19:28:21 PST 2008


I spoke about internet access in China in my presentation at IR9. One 
early paragraph of my paper reads:

Internet adoption in China is rapidly expanding as it has been since 
1995. Such expansion is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. 
It was reported in July 2008 by the China Internet Network Information 
Center (CNNIC, http://www.cnnic.com.cn/html/Dir/2008/07/31/5247.htm) 
that there are more than 253 million Internet users in China.  In 
comparison, the US was reported to have 223 million users. Such 
numbers are only approximations and in the Chinese case probably 
unknowable because of wide spread account sharing and multiple 

Approximately 40% or over 100 million of these users in China 
participate in online forums, some of whom also contribute to the over 
100 million Chinese language blogs. CNNIC reports that a still smaller 
set of net users, about 23% or 59 million are active contributors to 
forum and chat room discussions. Among the users in this group, I 
would locate net users who are "netizens", who practice some form of 
netizenship, that is, contribute actively to the Internet to effect 
social and political change.

CNNIC also reports that net users in China on average access the 
internet 19 hours/week.

I hope that helps on the question of % access for comparison.

The over 250 million net users represents about 20% of the population 
of an estimated 1.3 billion people living in China.

The talk I gave in Copenhagen can be seen at:


A draft of the paper on which it is based can be seen at


Some nice memories of Copenhagen.

Take care.


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