China Passes 12 Million Online

The number of Internet users in China has reached 12.3 million people, according to research by Internet measurement firm iamasia (Interactive Audience Measurement Asia). iamasia’s figures place Hong Kong’s Internet population at 1.85 million, or 37 percent of all people aged between 12 and 60. The city in China with the highest level of Internet penetration is Beijing (25 percent).

In China, 5.7 million people use the Internet at home and 5.0 million use the Internet at work. In Hong Kong, there are 1.52 million home users and 610,000 work users.

These findings are published in iamasia’s NetKnowledge China and NetKnowledge Hong Kong reports, which provide data on the size, composition, and characteristics of Internet users in Hong Kong and China.

iamasia’s figures also show that the Internet is still a relatively new phenomenon in China, with 56 percent of current users having begun using the Internet within the last 12 months. (In contrast, more than 70 percent of Internet users in Hong Kong have been doing so for more than a year.)

The Internet population is still dominated by men (62 percent in China and 58 percent in Hong Kong), although the gender gap is narrowing with more and more women coming online. China’s user base is young, with 63 percent between the ages of 15 and 29, versus 24 percent between the ages of 30 and 44. (In Hong Kong, the equivalent numbers are 48 percent and 38 percent respectively.)

Five percent of Internet users in China have made a purchase online, compared with 15 percent in Hong Kong. Books, groceries (especially for women), and computer hardware and software (especially for men) are the top sellers.

iamasia’s data is based on random-digit-dial respondents between the ages of 12 and 60. An Internet user is defined as someone who has used the Internet within the past four weeks.

According to the report “Consumer E-Commerce in China,” by BDA consumer e-commerce revenue in China will reach RMB 227 million (US $27 million) by year-end 2000 and RMB 39.9 billion (US $4.8 billion) by 2004.


Internet Use in China and Hong Kong
China Hong Kong
Total number of Internet users 12.3m 1.85m
Number of Internet users at home 5.7m 1.52m
Number of Internet users at work 5.0m 610,000
Number of users that are male 62% 58%
Percentage of Internet users
between the ages of 15 and 29
63% 48%
Percentage of Internet users
between the ages of 30 and 44
24% 38%
Internet penetration
(Internet users as a percentage of total population)
25%
(Beijing)
37%
Percentage of Internet users who began
using the Internet within the last 12 months
56% 29%
Percentage of Internet users
that have purchased online
5% 15%
Source: iamasia

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