Chinese broadband users above the age of 13 number 286 million, nearly double that of the U.S. broadband population, says a new report from market analysts Netpop Research. In five years, Netpop forecasts, that number will double.
Chinese Internet users tend to be younger. While 35 percent of American users are under age 35, in China younger users make up 73 percent of the online population. They’re also more engaged with the social side of the Net: 92 percent of broadband users surveyed told Netpop they contribute regularly to Web 2.0 user-generated content sites, whether by uploading audio or video, posting to a blog, tagging content that was uploaded by someone else, or otherwise participating actively.
… California-based Xiao Qiang, director of the Berkeley China Internet Project, told Bloomberg during the riots, “It turns out one of the very interesting functions of those sites is the news and opinions are getting circulated very quickly.” That’s an amazing endorsement of the power of social networks: The leaders of the world’s largest standing army are afraid of Twitter.