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Telecommunications in China. Data released by ITU in December 2000
Mar 9, 2001

China’s telephone line network, which is the second largest in the world , grew over 24.2% in 1999, only second to Brazil’s 25% growth rate in that year. Similarly, China, which has over 43 million mobile phone subscribers and is the third largest market in the world, experienced over 20% growth in the network in 1999. Neither China’s share of the world’s telecommunications markets is surprising giving its population size nor its high growth rates given the still low density of subscribers in both fixed and mobile telephony. In fact, China accounts for roughly 27% of all telephone lines and 26% of all mobile phone subscribers in the developing world, which is slightly higher than the country’s 21% share of the pollution in the developing world.

Perhaps much more surprising is the fast penetration of the internet in China, which had 9 million subscribers in 1999 and is roughly 0.7% of the country’s population. This figure, although not impressive by developed world standards, is important given the language barriers faced by Chinese. If growth continues at the actual rate, China is bound to be one of the largest internet markets in a few years.
By Jaime Niño

Source: Data released by International Telecommunications Union and contained in ITU's Asia-Pacific Telecommunication Indicators 2000. http://www.itu.int/journal/200009/E/html/Indicat.htm

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