China's Net market booming
July 2, 1999
by Michael Drexler
TOKYO (IDG) -- The world's most populous country will become the one of the world's largest Internet markets as early as 2003, according to a report released Monday.
China is already the fastest growing Net market in Asia, with the number of online users expected to reach 6.7 million by year end, up 319 percent from 1998, according to a report entitled "The Internet in China," jointly published by BDA China and the Strategis Group.
The number of Chinese PC users going online proliferated at nearly the same rate last year.
Internet growth will continue at a rapid clip, increasing 60 percent on average for the next five years, the report predicted. At that rate, China's Internet user base will hit 33 million in 2003, about double the size of Japan's user base today.
Although relatively high costs of online access may have previously restrained Chinese enthusiasm for the Internet, ISPs today are exploring different technologies, like cable lines, to provide high bandwidth to customers for lower prices, according to the report.
Foreign companies are also looking to get into an act now dominated by China Telecom. Last week, America Online (AOL) bought 10 percent of China.com, a portal and Net-service company that operates in China and elsewhere in Asia.
China's ISP market will be worth $4 billion by 2003, the report forecasted.
Michael Drexler writes for the IDG News Service.
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