By the end of 2006, China boasted 4.11 million domain names, of which over 1.8 million were China-coded domain names, and 137 million Internet users, ranking second in the world. A host of web-based services have thrived, for example network education, online banking, E-commerce, Internet advertising, news, video, and charged postal services, Internet Protocol (IP) telephone, SMS text-messaging, online recruitment, information services and games.
Large-scale radio telescope, set up in Yunnan Astronomical Observatory on Phoenix Hill, Kunming for tracking the orbit of China's "Explore 1" earth satellite
Working on the basis of results from the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) project in the 863 Program, three years' efforts by over 300 scientists completed the security and application platform of the government Infranet. After breakthroughs in many key code technologies, a data security and network credit system for government affairs has basically been established, satisfying demands for inter-departmental, multi-application communication, resource sharing and application integration.
The information industry has become a mainstay of China's economy. In 2006, the added value of China's information industry, which is the world's third largest, stood at 1,300 billion yuan. Many products such as monitors, mobile phones and notebook computers all led the world in output. Statistics show that output values, sales and profits of electronic and telecoms manufacturing all outstripped those of traditional industries, making the greatest contribution to national economic growth.
Post and telecommunications are important elements of the information industry. After decades of construction and development, a national postal network has taken shape, with Beijing and other major cities as the centers, linking all cities and rural areas. As for the telecommunications network, a basic transmission network featuring large capacity and high speed is now in place. It covers the whole country, with optical cable as the mainstay, supplemented by satellite and digital microwave systems. All provincial or autonomous regional capitals and over 90 percent of townships and cities are connected by an Internet-mode optical cable network. In economically advanced coastal and inland areas, optical cable has reached villages, towns, urban communities, and high-rise buildings, thus becoming the main technology for transmitting information. Meanwhile, China has participated in the construction of a number of international land and sea-bed optical cables, such as the China-Japan, China-ROK, and Asia-Europe sea cables, as well as Asia-Europe and China-Russia land optical cables. China initiated the construction of the 27,000-km Asia-Europe optical cable, the world's longest land optical cable system, passing through 20 countries in its journey from Shanghai to Frankfurt in Germany. So far, China has established telecommunication business relations with more than 200 countries and regions in the world.
At the end of 2006, China had 828.89 million telephone subscribers, 367.81 million fixed lines and 461.08 million mobile phone subscribers, constituting the world's second-largest telephone network. Since China started mobile telecommunication business in 1987, the mobile network now has covered all urban and rural areas, and international roaming service exists with over 200 countries and regions all over the world.