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Number of Chinese Websites Soared in 2003

China had approximately 600,000 approved websites by the end of 2003, up 60.3 percent from 2002, said a report issued by the State Council Information Office Thursday.

The China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) compiled the report on Internet resources in China in 2003. It was the third report of this type.

about 90 percent of the websites were based in east, north and south China, showing a growing gap between developed and less developed regions, the report said.

Beijing, south China's Guangdong Province, east China's Zhejiang Province and the economic hub of Shanghai were the top four areas for numbers of websites, accounting for 56.8 percent of the total.

Internet resources are attracted to the more developed regions. This will intensify the imbalanced development between east and west China, and between cities and the countryside, the report added.

By 2003, China also saw nearly 17,000 online databases, double the previous year's figure. The report warned people against blind pursuit of quantity of information, but urged an improvement in the quality of databases.

(Xinhua News Agency April 1, 2004)

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