Report: China Internet Users Top 12 Million

SINGAPORE (06/08/2000) - The number of Internet users in China (including Hong Kong) has reached 12.3 million people, according to findings released yesterday by Internet analyst company Interactive Audience Measurement Asia (Iamasia).

Internet penetration is highest in Hong Kong, with 37 percent of the population between the ages of 12 and 60 being subscribers. This equates to a subscriber base of 1.85 million. The city in Mainland China with the highest level of Internet penetration is Beijing at 25 percent, Iamasia said in its survey.

In China, 5.7 million people use the Internet at home and 5 million use the Internet at work. In Hong Kong, there are 1.52 million home users and 610,000 work users, according to the Iamasia survey.

The Internet is still a relatively new phenomenon in China, and use is consequently growing extremely fast, with 56 percent of current users having begun using the Internet within the last 12 months. By contrast, more than 70 percent of Internet users in Hong Kong have been doing so for more than a year, according to the Iamasia survey.

The Internet population is still dominated by men (62 percent of subscribers in China and 58 percent in Hong Kong), although the gender gap is narrowing with more women getting online. China's user base is young, with 63 percent being between the ages of 15 and 29, versus 24 percent between the ages of 30 and 44.

In Hong Kong, the equivalent numbers are 48 percent and 38 percent respectively.

According to the survey, 5 percent of Internet users in China have made a purchase online, compared with 15 per cent in Hong Kong. Books, groceries (especially for women) and computer hardware and software (especially for men) are the top sellers.

Iamasia, based in Hong Kong, can be found online at http://www.iamasia.com/.

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