China had approximately 600,000 approved websites by the end of 2003, up 60.3 percent over 2002, said a report issued by the State Council Informatization Office Thursday.
The report on Internet resources in China in 2003 was made by the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), the third of this kind.
However, about 90 percent of the websites were in east, north and south China provinces, showing a growing gap between rich regions and less developed regions, the report said.
The national capital city Beijing, south China's Guangdong Province, east China's Zhejiang Province and Chinese economic hub Shanghai ranked in the top four for numbers of websites, accounting for 56.8 percent of the total, the report said.
Internet resources were attracted to more developed regions and 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 on-line data banks, double the previous year. The report warned people against blind pursuit of quantity of information, but urged an improvement in the quality of data banks.
(Xinhua News Agency April 2, 2004)