China tops the world for most Internet users

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China has moved past the U.S. to become the world’s largest group of Internet users. Over 221 million Chinese currently use the Internet, which is up over 10 million from last year.

“Despite a rapidly increasing Internet population, the proportion of Internet users among the total population was still lower than the global average level.” said the Chinese Information Ministry”

As a whole 16-percent of China’s population are Internet users, compared to an average of 19.1-percent for the world’s total population. All things considers that is a lot of users especially considering the Chinese government heavily censors the net, using a complex system of filters as well as human monitors. Despite that, it is still used as tool by Chinese supporters outraged by the recent rise in anti-Chinese sentiments in the Western world as a result of China’s treatment of Tibet. Just last weekend ago a group of Chinese hackers were able to knock CNN’s website offline in protest of what they called the network’s anti-Chinese propaganda. The upcoming Olympic games in Beijing have also served to bring even more attention to the issue and has led to various protests by pro-Tibet supporters along the route of the Olympic torch relay.

Read [Reuters]

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