Internet too expensive for most Chinese

Updated: 2007-05-02 14:22

Guangming Daily reports Chinese netizens spend ten times more money on the internet than people in developed countries.

A World Bank report released on Monday reports Chinese netizens spend an average of 83.5 yuan (US$10.8) on the internet every month, more than 10 percent of their monthly income.

People in developed countries spend an average of less than one percent of their income to access the same information online.

Experts say internet prices in China should be slashed by at least 20 to 30 percent.

Early this year, Minister of Information Industry Wang Xudong said limits would apply to internet fees in 2007.

Lots of people say the high internet fees result from the industry oligopoly. China is the world's second largest market for internet and broadband services, but a few state-owned companies still set the prices. In the absence of fierce market competition, these companies are understandably reluctant to reduce their fees.

But the high prices prevent many Chinese people from using the internet, which has become the domain of the rich.

Some expert predicts that the number of internet users is expected to increase at an unprecedented rate when internet charges are cut by 20 to 30 percent. Up to 20 million more people will join China's 137 million netizens annually and the total number of people online could reach 200 million by 2010.

Top China News  
Today's Top News  
Most Commented/Read Stories in 48 Hours