Sunday, July 27, 2008

20% of the world is online … and China > US!

This week saw an article stating that the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) has released statistics showing that the total number of internet users in China is now 253,000,000 and now well and truly surpass the number of internet users in the US (215,000,000 as at the end of November 2007). This follows six months of remarkable growth, from about 210,000,000 at the end of 2007 according to

As you pore over the statistics, you start to get a sense of the true scale of the internet. So here are some things which stuck with me…

  1. The number of internet users in China compares to the population of the US (around 305,000,000), and at the current rate of growth (56% per annum) will likely surpass it before Christmas this year.
  2. Each of the number of users in China and the US now represent around 15% of the total world population of Internet Users of 1,412,000,000
  3. More than 20% of the world's population of 6,707,000,000 is now online
  4. Asia has the second lowest population penetration (14%) of the internet (after Africa) but represents the largest share of internet users. The US has internet penetration of 71% and 76% for Australia.
  5. China's internet population is now 16 times that of Australia (15.5 million)
  6. The
    article suggests that by 2012, the China internet population will probably reach 490,000,000 – even if we reach 20 million in Australia, they will outnumber us by 25 to 1. There are more than 530,000,000 internet users across Asia today.

There is much to be drawn from these statistics and I will devote more space to this in the future. My first observation is that while it is obvious that the internet is a truly global phenomenon, it is increasingly an Asia-centric one.

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