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 Background of ICT

  The late 1990s and the start of the year 2000 have witnessed a dramatic revolution in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT). The convergence of the IT industry and the communications industry has been the driving force of the New Economy. Some scholars even believe that the invention of Internet and its widespread applications are the twilight of the third industrial revolution, comparable to the role played by the internal combustion engine and the railroad in the second industrial revolution. While there is ample evidence from the developed world to support this argument However, the impact of the ICT revolution on developing countries remains unclear and controversial.

  Developing countries face many problems in handling the relationship between ICT promotion and overall economic strategies. Increasingly they have to confront tough questions such as:
Can a developing country find competitive advantage in building its ICT industry?
Will ICT adoption and diffusion increase the pressures of unemployment?
Can ICT development and diffusion reduce disparity among regions?

  The third industrial revolution has the following characteristic. Its labour-replacing technologies, such as computers, are biased against low-skilled and poorly educated workers. It also introduced extraordinary innovations, which have allowed operations to decentralize and to globalize simultaneously. Businesses now increasingly cross local and regional boundaries in search of national markets, then cross national boundaries in search of global markets. Thus, developing countries, including China, has to come up with policies to strategize and control the negative effects of ICT development, such as unemployment; and to maximise its positive effects on economy, etc.

ICT Profile - China

Total population

1,321,851,888 (July 2007 est.)

Rural population as a percentage of total population

about 56% (October 2007 est. - 737 million)

Key economic sectors (Figures in 2001, comparison with the previous year in brackets)

  • Primary industry total output value RMB 1,461 billion (increase by 2.8%)
  • Secondary industry total output value RMB 4,906.9 billion (increase by 8.7%);
  • Tertiary industry total output value RMB 3,225.4 billion (increase by 7.4%).
  • Annual GDP total RMB 9,593.3 billion (increase by 7.3%).
  • Consumption index: total resident consumption price level increases by 0.7%.
  • International income and expenditure: Favorable foreign trade balance USD 22.5 billion (decrease by USD 1.6 billion). Direct foreign investment actually utilized USD 46.8 billion (increase by 14.9%).
  • International reserve: At the end of that year the national foreign currency reserve was USD 212.2 billion.
  • Currency exchange rate (middle price): RMB exchange rate keeps stable. At the end of the year 1 dollar exchanges 8.2766 RMB. Railway 1,457.5 billion ton kilometers (increase by 6.7%);
  • Highway 618 billion ton kilometers (increase by 0.8%);
    Water transport 2,486 billion ton kilometers (increase by 4.7%);
  • Civil aviation 4.4 billion ton kilometers (increase by 3.8%).
  • Coal output increased by 10.9%, oil by 1.3% and power generated by 9.0%;
  • Steel increased by 19.8%, ten non-ferrous metals by 10.5%.

Literacy in the national language(s)

93.3% (2000)

Literacy in English

12.7% (2001 estimated)

Computer ownership per 100 inhabitants

Approximately 11(2002)

Telephone lines per 100 inhabitants

Approximately 32 (2002)

Internet hosts per 10,000 inhabitants

Approximately 2.2 (2002)

Cell phone subscribers per 100 inhabitants

Approximately 15 (2002)

Number of websites in the national language

92.45% (2000)

Number of websites in English and other language(s)

7.6% (2001)

National bandwidth within the country/territory

By the end of 2001, domestic bandwidth has come up to 9,120 Mbps

National bandwidth to and from the country/territory

10,576.5 Mbps (2002)

Key ICT Information

  • There are 9 network operators and about 200 Internet service providers (ISP) that have the qualification of management across provinces.
  • The 9 network operators have the independent rights of international export and its total value of the international export bandwidth reached 10,576.5M with an increase of 224.7% over July 2001(3,257M).
  • 38% of the Chinese urban families have bought computers with a popularization rate of 11% all through China.
  • The survey conducted by China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) in July 2002 showed that the number of the computers logging on the internet is about 16.13 million with a majority of surfing on the internet by dialing (12 million) and surfing by a special line in the second place (37 thousand).
  • The number of telephone subscribers (by September 2002) amounts to 207 million with an popularization rate of 31.99 telephones per 100 people.
  • The number of mobile phone subscribers (by September 2002) amounts to 190.391 million with an popularization rate of 14.55 telephones per 100 people.
  • The rate of the administrative villages, which have installed telephones, is 85.30%.
  • The CN Domain Name Number and WWW Website Number occupied 68.2% and 67.1% respectively by July 2002 for the five provinces and municipalities in South China , and only 8.9% and 7.9% respectively for the twelve provinces, municipalities and the autonomous regions in the western areas.
  • The survey conducted by China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) in July 2002 revealed that the current number of Chinese Netizen is 45.8 million, 2.7 times of that in the same period in 2000 and 73.9 times in 1997.
  • The male Netizens made for 60.9% and the female made for 39.1%. The majority was people aged 18-24 (37.2%) and those aged 25-30 (16.9%) were in the second place.
  • The Netizen surfed on the internet mainly at home (62.1%) or in the workplace (43.3%) and they paid mainly by themselves (77.1%) and the fees paid by the workpalce were in the second place (10.1%) and the fee paid both by the individuals and the workplace accounted for 12.8%.
  • The payment by the Netizens each month was common at three kinds of fees : below 50 RMB (44.3%) ; 51-100 RMB (30.1%) ; 101-200 RMB (18.7%).
  • The two purposes of the netizens surfing on the internet were to get information (47.6%) and entertainment (18.9%).


  • At present, the Chinese information browsed by Chinese netizens takes up 81.4% of the total and the number of domain names registered with .cn is 126,146.

Agriculture/Rural development

  • At present there are 1,600 Chinese agricultural websites, including agricultural enterprise websites (37%), governmental websites (17.4%) and educational and technological websites (16.4%).
  • The content is mainly market information, science education, policies and management (61%), as well as some e-commerce.


  • At present, about 50% of the large- and medium-sized enterprise publish their product information on the Net in many forms (by the end of 2000), enterprise websites take up 77.8% of the total Chinese websites (by June 2001).


  • By the end of June 2002, 81.1% of the provincial and ministerial governmental departments have established homepages and 57.5% of the provincial and municipal governmental departments have established governmental websites.


  • By 2001, there have been 1,345 Chinese B2B websites (inclusive of 149 comprehensive ones and 1,196 professional ones
  • The electronic industry participate the most in e-commerce (35.1%)
  • By 2001, there have been 2,056 Chinese B2C websites (inclusive of 270 comprehensive ones and 1,786 professional one). . The commodities traded are mainly cheap products.

{anchor:Distance education/E-learning?

Distance education/E-learning

  • Since 1998, 67 Chinese colleges and universities have developed distance education.
  • By March 2001, distance education of eight disciplines and 51 majors have been implemental, and the degree education covers 4 levels of graduate retraining courses, junior college to undergraduate, high school to undergraduate and common junior college.
  • The increased value of Communication and Electronic Industry was 1.4% GDP in 1989 and up to 4.2% in 2001.
  • According to the statistics, by the end of 2001, the total value of Electronic industry had reached 1,300 billion RMB, accounting for 10% of the total industrial value of the country.
  • The sales volume was 890 billion RMB and the export volume amounted to 65 billion US dollars.
  • By the end of 2001, ICT industry had attracted foreign capital of 70 billion US dollars and 61 countries and districts had invested in the ICT industry in China.
  • The fixed assets the communication industry increased to over 1,000 billion RMB in 2001 from 24.5 billion RMB in 1989, with the total optical fiber cables 1.97 million kilos long.
  • During the first half the 2002, the total number of Chinese PC products sold was 4.108 million and the sales volume is 33.451 billion RMB, with an increase of 17.2% and 11.3% respectively over the same period of last year.
  • From 1991 to 1999, the sales volume of Chinese software industry increased to 17.6 billion RMB FROM 460 million RMB and its growth rate exceeded the average rate of the software industry in the developed countries.

Key Initiatives

In the Tenth Five-Year Plan period, China will invest RMB 1,700 billion, and set up correspondence network which is the biggest scale capacity, advanced technique, safety and dependable, and basically content with national economy and social development in the world.

The E-government Project

  • Establishing the two unified terrace of electronics governmental affairs: "Network inside governmental affairs" connecting each section in side government, and "Network outside governmental affairs" facing to public, business enterprise and conjunction government business.
  • Developing and pushing forward twelve point projects ("12 Gold Projects "): Involving in every aspect of the high layer decision and the macro - management, revenue from tax, public finance, finance, audit, society stability, agriculture modernization, defending and beating the false, anti-flood and defending the dry etc.
  • Information resources developments: Including two information systems and four databases which are the population database, corporative database, information resources and space ground database, and macro- economic database etc.

That engineering has improved the development of IT market. During the first half of this year, the total purchase sum of Chinese E-government market amounts to 15.49 billion RMB.

The Enterprises Surfing Project

The 2001 enterprises surfing project was extended by two major lines:

  • Holding 'China internet exchange meeting', assembling time, labor force, advertisement and other resources to attract the attention and participation of enterprises and promote their application on the internet.
  • Through the online platform of the enterprises, assisting the enterprises to log on the Internet and develop e-commerce.

At present, some groups such as Baoshang Iron & Steel Corporation, the Legend Group Company, Haier and others, have succeeded in development of sale online, procurement online and so on. under the basis of ERP management inside the companies. However, the Internet application level of a large number of enterprises is still very low.

The Family Surfing Project

The family surfing project whose theme is 'information construction of the community' was started on 20th December 2001. It aims at forming the service chain of internet increment application consisted of the users, telecommunication operators, information content providers and enterprises .


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1 Comment

  1. Unknown User (u0807273)

    Hi, He Xi(smile) , one suggestion on the reference part is that u need more references and meanwhile give the writer, book, time, website and other infor if possible.