The latest numbers from CNNIC (China Internet Network Information Center) about internet usage in China show that usage is rising faster than before. CNNIC says that China now (July 2006) has 123 Million users. That’s 12 million more than the last survey.
January 2006 vs July 2006
The last time CNNIC published numbers was in January 2006. At that time the total number stood at 111 Million. Compared to the previous period (July 2005 until January 2006 where there was an increase of 8 million) it showed a lower growth rate indicating the China internet user population wasn’t growing as fast anymore. The opposite seems to have taken place now. The last half year has added 12 million new users.
It’s not really clear why suddenly usage is increasing faster. 4 million users extra growth over half a year is a lot. It could be that the results are part of a never published 5-year plan that needs to be followed rigorously. Or maybe it indeed grew faster.
Chinese Online Friend-Maker Market
Other research, this time from Iresearch, talks about the Online Friend-Maker market. The title should speak for itself but just to be sure, this online friend making ranges from finding pen pals, marriage material to one night stands.
The widest known website offering this kind of services is probably the friendfinder network. 96333.com and Yeeyoo are players in the Chinese hemisphere.
Iresearch says China had 46.4 million friend seekers at the end of 2005. It predicts there will be 111.6 million users (trying) to make friends in 2008.
I use this friend-maker research as an example to show how wobbly the statistics seem. Year on Year growth of the total internet population is somewhere between 16 and 20 million, at least according to CNNIC Right now there are the said 123 million.
That would make 160 million users in 2008, in the most ideal scenario.
If 111.6 million of them are going to be looking for friends online that would equal 70 percent of the internet users. That’s a lot.
CNNIC - Chinese
Iresearch - The information about the online friend maker market came to me by email and I am unable to find the article on their site. Then again, it’s pretty much impossible to find anything there in a logical way.