By July of 2004, 90 percent of Chinese villages has been
connected by telephones, and the connection ratio will shoot up
to95 percent next year, according to latest statistics released by
the Ministry of Information Industry.
The government scheme of the service fund is aimed at providing
basic telecommunications services to all at affordable prices.
China ranks No.1 in the number of telephone subscribers with
295.488 million fixed line telephone users and 305.283 million cell
In the first seven months of this year, 68.071 million
households added telephones, with 32.741 million adding fixed lines
and 35.33 million adding cell phones.
However, the ministry said that telecom development remains
seriously imbalanced between the country's coastal areas, where 77
percent households own one fixed line telephone, and the
hinterland, where only 40 percent families have one.
(Xinhua News Agency October 7, 2004)