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Asia Minute: China’s Online Population Grows, Along with Censorship

Access to the internet is censored in China…but more people are logging on.  The government released figures this week that show that China remains home to the biggest number of internet users in the world.  HPR’s Bill Dorman has details in today’s Asia Minute.

Some 710 million Chinese now use the internet.  For a little perspective, that’s more than double the entire population of the United States.  That’s according to China’s government…which for these purposes defines an internet user as anyone who has gone online at least once in the past six months.

The China Internet Network Information Center says the number of users is up more than 3% since December. The same study finds more than 90% of those on the internet in China get there by way of their mobile phones.The state-run China Daily highlighted a growing number of Chinese shopping and paying their bills on line…hailing taxis online…even ordering takeout food on line.

The state-run media did NOT mention the recent crackdown on news websites.  Just last week, China’s internet regulator warned websites to stop publishing stories based on original reporting…leaving the news to official government-run publications and organizations.  That message was aimed at domestic websites…access to international websites is Not readily available in the country…due to what is informally known as the “Great Firewall of China.”

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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