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Internet Media to See Fast Growth


China will devote more attention to the "fourth media" - the Internet and information super-highway - and adjust its policy to cope with the revolution of news media.

Zhou Guangzhao, chairman of the Third Asia-Pacific Symposium on Press and Scientific and Social Progress, which is held in Beijing from November 3 to 6, said Internet media in China has become the fastest growing means for information transmission with its volatility and diversity.

There were only 620,000 Internet users in China in October 1997. But by the end of 1999 this had hit 8.9 million before spiraling to 26.5 million by the end of June 2001.

It is estimated that by the year 2005, the number of computers connected to the Internet will reach 40 million and Internet users will total 200 million.

In terms of the information gathered by users on the Internet, 63.5 per cent is news, and 31.4 per cent is information on science and technology as well as education, said Zhang Chunjiang, vice-minister of the information industry.

It is widely accepted by delegates of the symposium that the fourth media will probably outweigh traditional media - newspapers, radio and television - within one or two decades.

China's Internet news media appeared in 1995, and has become a very important part of China's news communication.

At the government level, a series of measures have been taken in the past several years to boost the development of new media in the form of favorable policies and financial and technical support.

Thousands of news websites or web pages have been set up for 2,000 newspaper offices, 8,000 magazines, 290 radio stations and 420 TV stations in the country, said Cai Mingzhao, vice-minister of the Information Office of the State Council.

According to the 10th Five-Year Plan (2001-05) for National Economic and Social Development of China, the nation will strengthen the development of the information infrastructure.

It will also apply digital and network technologies extensively in the technical development, production and marketing activities of enterprises, and in public services and government administration.

But problems such as information security, online crimes and sex, violence and other harmful information are becoming more acute everyday as the development of Internet media snowballs.

China has promulgated a series of laws and regulations on the Internet to strengthen administration, such as the Decision on the Maintenance of the Internet Security, and Telecom Regulations.

Cai also called for the expansion of international exchange and co-operation, establishment of an international pact on the Internet, and the strengthening of security regulations.

(China Daily November 5, 2001)

In This Series

Asia-Pacific Symposium Discusses Media Revolution

Forum on Stream Media Technologies to Be Held in Beijing

Hong Kong Media Enjoys Largest Freedom in Asia

Mass Media Sharpen Edge With Internet

New Era in Media Exchanges Across Taiwan Straits

China Creates Powerful Media Network in Tibet

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