The Internet in China: AN UPDATE.

Author:Kuang, Wenbo

As an open, non-proprietary computer communications infrastructure that reaches every corner of the globe and carries information on possibly every topic, the Internet has quickly become a phenomenon accessed by myriad users at all hours. There are a variety of user services available on the Internet - some internet-wide and some within a specific user community. Popular services are electronic mail, mailing lists, file transfers, remote computing, and multimedia services. For the first time, the Internet has managed the seemingly impossible task of breaking down barriers between countries and people.

The Internet has existed in China since 1987. What follows is information about the Internet service providers and information infrastructure in China, including its achievements and problems, as well as predictions on its future development.

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in China

The Internet has only recently come into developing countries - the first usage in China was in 1987. But users were few until the four major ISPs were successfully built in 1996. The amount of users has increased explosively since then. There are updated statistical data which were investigated by the National Internet Information Centre of China since June 1998. From the data, results show there are 542,000 computers connected the Internet in China. There are 1,175,000 users who often surf the Net in China.

Currently, there are 3,700 Chinese web sites. Some of them are very popular and others cart important information. Examples include:

* Skynet Search Engine

* Nease Search Engine

* China Economic Information Center

* Beijing Library (National library of China)

* Peking University

* Tsinghua University

* Wuhan University

* Zhongshan University

* Shanghai Welcomes You

* Nanjing Welcomes You

* China Guide

* China Navigator

Nonetheless, the Internet market is still in the embryonic stage - but not for long! It is growing at the rate of more than one-hundred percent per year in the country.

The early networks in China were mainly based on terrestrial lines compared to the recent ones which are in satellite mode. The major Internet Service Providers in China...

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