Monday, July 28, 2008

China’s Internet Population Growing At A Fast Pace Despite Restrictions

China’s Internet Population Growing At A Fast Pace Despite Restrictions:
"China’s Internet population is visibly growing every month, and despite all restrictions imposed by the government, it became the world’s largest Internet population, counting 253 million users, according to the latest government report.

By the end of June, the proportion of online users was of 19.1 percent in China, which still accounts for less than a quarter of the country’s population. The percentage is small compared to that of the United States, where almost three quarters of the population uses Internet, but the Chinese online population seems to be growing every month.

The China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) informed that while the U.S. Internet population reached 223.1 million users in June, the Chinese population added over 40 million users from the beginning of the year. Overall, China’s online population had a 56 percent increase compared to the same period last year. ..."
With a penetration of 19.1%, China looks like it will dominate the Internet for the foreseeable future. To be sure, the freedoms that internet users enjoy in the rest of the world are not much in evidence, but hopefully that will change.

One thing is evident, and that is that China and the Far East will be a significant player in the development and deployment of new internet technologies. Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) has been under development since the mid 1990s when it became obvious that the number of IPv4 addresses would eventually be insufficient for all the devices that require internet addresses.

Ironically, latecomers to the internet had the opportunity to create an infrastructure that supports IPv6, thus they are far ahead of the US and Europe in that regard.

IPv6 is the "official protocol" of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The IPv6 web site is and from where I sit, one laptop can reach it because it is attached to an IPv6 network. Another, which is operating only on an IPv4 network cannot access that website, but will get you there on IPv4.

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