China's Internet population tripled in 1998

China's Internet user base more than tripled in 1998, in spite of widespread complaints about high access costs and scarcity of Chinese-language content on the Web, the online version of the country's official English-language daily newspaper reported today.

China's Internet user base more than tripled in 1998, in spite of widespread complaints about high access costs and scarcity of Chinese-language content on the Web, the online version of the country's official English-language daily newspaper reported today.

The world's most populous country had 2.1 million [M] Internet users at the end of 1998, up from 670,000 in 1997, the China Daily report said, citing statistics released over the weekend by the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC).

Internet usage in China has been growing at a phenomenal rate in the last two years, albeit from a relatively small base compared to the country's 1.2 billion [B] population. China's Internet users numbered 1.175 million [M] by the end of June 1998, the CNNIC reported in July last year.

Although growing numbers of Chinese are getting online, many of them are also voicing complaints about the current state of the Internet in China, the China Daily report said.

As many as 92 percent of the 22,177 users surveyed by the CNNIC in December complained about slow transmission speeds, expensive access fees and the lack of Chinese-language information on the Internet, the report said.

The CNNIC, in Beijing, can be reached via the World Wide Web at http://www.cnnic.net.cn/.

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