Asian Internet users approach 200 million

The number of Internet users in Asia is expected to quadruple to 188 million by 2004, encouraged by decreasing access fees and the wider availability of local content. The growth will be achieved from a base of just 72 million Internet users at the end of 2000, according to forecasts released recently by Dataquest.

The company's research indicated that Japan will be Asia's largest Internet market by 2004, with 64.5 million Internet users. Earlier this year the country had just 27.06 million users. China will have 51 million subscribers and India will have 10 million within the same time frame, according to Dataquest.

Countries like Indonesia will not progress as rapidly in the digital domain, however, due mainly to a poorly developed telecommunications infrastructure. Indonesia will have only 5.1 million Internet subscribers by 2004, though its population is expected to be as large as 220 million by then.

The report also found that local content was preferable in countries where English was seldom used and where the number of Internet users was high - 80 per cent of Internet traffic in Korea visited domestic Web sites.

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