In the U.S.A., anyway, when you read a mass media news headline with the words “China” and “Internet” in it, it usually ends up being a story about Internet censorship and the Great (Fire)Wall of China…but I still maintain that the greater story is the growing numbers of Chinese who even have access to the Internet. (Real hardcore censorship wouldn’t allow Internet access at all. Just ask the masses in North Korea.)
Back in March, I posted some numbers for us to show how Internet access has been growing in China:
And the latest figures:
True, people in China can’t access Wikipedia.com and Playboy.com, but many of these 123 million are using the Internet in ways I think few of us could find fault with: to conduct business, to learn, to debate with one another, even to blog. (Foreigners make some interesting uses of it in China as well.)
Oh yeah, and on the power of those Chinese bloggers–all 80 million of them–especially if you fancy doing some “marketing” in China someday, better check out Blogging Down in China at BusinessWeek.com.