Internet Industry: New Economic Engine Amid Recession?

Despite the global economy, the Internet industry has been able to weather tough economic times. From Xinhua, via People’s Daily Online:

Kai-fu Lee, vice president of Google, was optimistic about the company’s performance in the first quarter of this year. The company saw 6 percent growth in business volume in the first three months over the same period last year, according to Google’s quarterly report released Thursday.

“We’ve made significant profit despite slowing growth. The company is not severely damaged but only encounters deceleration in business expansion,” he said during the annual conference of Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) held in the scenic Boao town of south China’s Hainan Province.

The three-day forum ending Sunday, which attracted more than 1,600 politicians, business people and scholars and focused on the financial crisis, set a special section to discuss the Internet industry, which seemingly plays a more important role in combating crisis and stimulating the distressed real economy than before.

Indeed, figures indicate that the number of web users has risen. China, already ranked as having the most number of Internet users in the world, now has a reported 316 million users, an increase of 16 million from last year. From China Tech News:

According to Xi Guohua, vice minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China, the number of Chinese netizens increased by 16.2 million in the first quarter of 2009, reaching a total number of 316 million.

Xi said though the global financial crisis brought great impact to the real economy, China’s Internet industry did not slow its development speed. Meanwhile, the development of broadband was more obvious with the number of broadband users accounting for over 90% of total netizens in China.


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