From The Guardian:
China presents a tantalising commercial opportunity for web publishers, and with the Beijing Olympics on the horizon, breaking the territory’s internet market is a high priority.
The government-run China Internet Network Information Center recently predicted that China will shortly overtake the US to become the world’s biggest internet market. By the end of 2007, the number of internet users in the country had rocketed to 210 million, claims CINIC – gaining 73 million new users in just 12 months.
US metrics firm comScore began measuring the Chinese market in March. It is more cautious with its estimates for China – putting its universal figure, that is a figure including children and public web use, at 166 million people. The US has 200 million on the same metric.
“You can estimate the size of online growth in the US and UK at a couple of per cent per year, so we have nearly reached an equilibrium there,” says comScore European managing director Bob Ivins. “But even if China has 200 million users, there’s a population of 1.3 billion. The growth opportunities are huge.” [Full Text]