Posted by Maya Alexandri on Monday, October 22, 2007 at 10:08 AM
This figure represents a 10 million increase over the last count, by China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), released in July 2007, which found that China had 162 million Internet users. This rate of increase is consistent with the rate of growth of China's Internet population since January 2007, when CNNIC counted 137 million Internet users. Thus far in calendar year 2007, approximately 4 million Chinese people go online for the first time every month.
Nonetheless, this latest surge in Internet usage coincides with a period of increased surveillance and restriction of Internet activity, in advance of the 17th Party Congress. The closing of Internet data centers and the consequent shutting down of thousands of websites doesn't seem to be deterring Chinese people from going online.
Indeed, it's possible that the restrictions on press reporting, both on- and offline, is actually spurring Internet use. In the first half of 2003, for example, during the SARS crisis, 9 million Chinese people went online for the first time, and almost 50% of users reported an increase in their Internet usage during SARS. Silencing the press anywhere is likely to pique interest, and despite the surveillance, China's Internet is still a place to sate such curiosity. As blogger Lian Yue said in a recent email interview with your correspondent, "For people who have even just a little Internet experience, you can pretty much get any information you want to know."
Links and Sources
Jobs in China
Henry on The Eurasian Face
Caroline W on Big in China
Michael on Julia Lovell on translating Lu Xun's complete fiction: "His is an angry, searing vision of China"
Brandon K. on Clueless academic takes on popular fantasy novels
China Media Timeline
Major media events over the last three decades
Danwei Model Workers
The latest recommended blogs and new media
Books on China
The Eurasian Face : Blacksmith Books, a publishing house in Hong Kong, is behind The Eurasian Face, a collection of photographs by Kirsteen Zimmern. Below is an excerpt from the series:
Big in China: An adapted excerpt from Big In China: My Unlikely Adventures Raising A Family, Playing The Blues and Becoming A Star in China, just published this month. Author Alan Paul tells the story of arriving in Beijing as a trailing spouse, starting a blues band, raising kids and trying to make sense of China.
Pallavi Aiyar's Chinese Whiskers: Pallavi Aiyar's first novel, Chinese Whiskers, a modern fable set in contemporary Beijing, will be published in January 2011. Aiyar currently lives in Brussels where she writes about Europe for the Business Standard. Below she gives permissions for an excerpt.
Front Page of the Day
A different newspaper every weekday
From the Vault
Classic Danwei posts
+ Korean history doesn't fly on Chinese TV screens (2007.09): SARFT puts the kibbosh on Korean historical dramas.
+ Religion and government in an uneasy mix (2008.03): Phoenix Weekly (凤凰周刊) article from October, 2007, on government influence on religious practice in Tibet.
+ David Moser on Mao impersonators (2004.10): I first became aware of this phenomenon in 1992 when I turned on a Beijing TV variety show and was jolted by the sight of "Mao Zedong" and "Zhou Enlai" playing a game of ping pong. They both gave short, rousing speeches, and then were reverently interviewed by the emcee, who thanked them profusely for taking time off from their governmental duties to appear on the show.