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Beijing Olympics fuel China Internet use
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Chinese Internet users spent more time online and visited more websites during the Olympics than ever before, according to a report released on Wednesday.

In a joint report by the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) and Wrating, a survey organization, Chinese spent 25 percent more time online during the Games. Netizens spent 23.8 hours online per week during the Olympic period, up from 19 hours in June.

Websites with Olympic content also grew in popularity with Chinese spending almost half their daily Internet activity, averaging 3.39 hours, on the sites.

In addition, the number of website visits from nine major portals recorded 1.7 billion hits. That figure was 22 times more compared with the July data, the report claimed.

The report attributed the numbers, in part, to a move by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that listed the Internet and cell phone media as independent broadcasting organizations. For the first time in the Games' history fans could watch their favorite events online.

Despite Internet use rising during the Olympiad, a CTR Market Research report showed 96 percent of those polled chose television as their top source for Olympic coverage. Radio came in second followed by the Internet.

However, that wasn't what the CNNIC and Wrating report found. It said about 79.8 of netizens listed the Internet as their primary information source, and almost 13 percent said they seldom resorted to other media for Olympic news.

"Based on the number of Chinese netizens, there were about 27 million people who were hardly reached by any other media except the Internet," the report said.

The number of domestic Internet users reached 253 million in June, up 56.2 percent from 162 million in 2007.

The CNNIC and Wrating report was based on random phone interviews to 2,100 Internet users in 21 cities along with analysis data monitoring from the nine major portals.

(Xinhua News Agency September 11, 2008)

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