China: Our Internet is Now Bigger Than Yours

Just in time for the Beijing Olympics, China tells the world that it now has more Internet users than any other country. And penetration is still low, so the user-base is only going to get bigger:

China has surpassed the United States to become the world’s largest Internet-using population, reaching 221 million by the end of February, state media said on Thursday.

The number of Internet users in China was 210 million at the end of last year, only 5 million fewer than the U.S. Internet users then, Xinhua news agency said, quoting the China Internet Network Information Centre.

“Despite a rapidly increasing Internet population, the proportion of Internet users among the total population was still lower than the global average level,” Xinhua quoted the Information Ministry as saying.

The proportion was 16 per cent at the end of 2007, compared with 19.1 per cent for the world average.

Maybe that explains the mystery of why Baidu (BIDU) is soaring again. (No, it obviously doesn’t, but we don’t have any good info there yet).

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