Chinese Web Marketplace

According to a semi-official Chinese research centre, the China Internet Network Information Centre, the number of Internet surfers in China has grown to 79.5 million people at the end of 2003, up an annual 34.5 percent.

China, which already had the world’s second-largest Web population after the United States, added 20.4 million new online users during the year. Total users will grow very quickly in the next five years, the centre has said in its twice-yearly report.

CNNIC said the number of computers connected to the Internet reached 30.9 million at the end of last year, up 48.3 percent from the year-earlier period. The average Chinese Web surfer is male, unmarried and under 35.