80 mln Chinese surf the Web

China had 79.5 million Web surfers at the end of 2003, a report by the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) out of Beijing stated Thursday. The number catapults the country ahead of fellow Asia-Pacific region country Japan, which has 56 million Internet users but below first-ranked U.S., which has 165.75 million Internet users, according to the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) World Factbook. According to the bi-annual Statistical Survey Report, China added 20.4 million new users this year, a 34.5% increase over last year. It’s an amazing six-month leap; its previous report, the 12th Statistical Survey Report, showed 68 million Internet users. Officials determine an Internet user as someone who accesses the Internet one hour or more a week.

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