18th CPC congress gains large online following

By Zhang Fang
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, November 12, 2012
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Netizens' attention for the ongoing Party congress has sharply risen since it started on Nov. 8, making it the most interactive congress ever in regards to online activity, according to a media survey expert with Tsinghua University.

The internet has become the closest path connecting netizens to the Party congress since it allows people to discuss delegates' reports and express their political opinions and suggestions directly, said Dr. Zhao Shuguang, director of Tsinghua Media Survey Lab.


A comparison of netizen numbers between 17th and 18th National Congress of CPC.  [China.org.cn]

300 million netizens increased over the past five years

The number of Chinese netizens has increased significantly , more particularly in the fields of wireless and mobile Internet, plus video and microblogging. These online developments offer the public a better chance at gaining access to congress information.

According to the data from China Internet Network Information Center(CNNIC), the number of netizens in China has risen from 210 million in December 2011 to 538 million in June of this year and the internet access rates have subsequently increased from 16% to nearly 40%.


The numbers of messages focus on each topic of this year's congress takes on board in Tencent microblog. [China.org.cn]

Moreover, the number of Chinese mobile internet users now stands at around 388 million and with that outnumbers the amount of PC-users, making the mobile phone accountable for the largest internet output in China. Among netizens in general, video and microblog users account for 27.7% and 40%, respectively.

"Rejecting the old and erroneous path" becoming hot topic

In a political report President Hu Jintao delivered to the congress on Nov. 8, key phrases like "maritime power," "ecological progress," "old and rigid closed-door policy" and "erroneous path" have become hot topics for online debates, monitored by the media survey lab.

The share rates of the 18th CPC's congress key words have multiplied several times, according the data shown by mobile service provider bShare.

The interactive data regarding the 18th National Congress of the CPC for the nation's three main online media players By 7pm on Nov. 8 2012. [China.org.cn]

China.org.cn, China's foreign publicity portal ,has witnessed a sharp increase in its page views and users of the website's Chinese, English, French and Spanish editions. On the Chinese page alone, the two indexes rose 253% and 198%, respectively.

By 7pm on Nov. 8, microblog Tencent.com broadcasted over 36 million netizen messages.

Zhao said the interaction with and discussion surrounding the congress shows a rationality and political passion on the part of netizens in and for major political topics. This ever-developing online trend requires more measures of protection as it is set to become one of the main driving forces behind improvements regarding the nation's reform and development.

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