China to overtake US in Web users … next month

According to the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), China is poised to overtake the US in Web users very, very shortly. Here is a news article.

CNNIC says that China now has 210 million Web users, an increase of more than 73 million over the past year. These are staggering growth figures and it’s safe to project that China will overtake the US, which is hovering around 215 million Web users, sometime late next month.

When it does, I’m sure the CNNIC will be the first to announce it.

Now the race is on for companies to localize their Web sites for these 210 million Web users, like Starwood, which is ahead of many of its competitors.

What more can you say? When it comes to potential Web users, China has a lot more headroom than the US. What we’re seeing transpire was inevitable, though the timing is much faster than many of us (me included) would have predicted.

And India could one day surpass China’s numbers.

PS: I visited the CNNIC Web site to read the press release, but they hadn’t translated any English-language content since last year. So I went to the source, the Chinese-language site, and used Google Translate to read their press release. Check it out for yourself — and I must say that the quality of Google’s machine translations since it started using its own statistical machine translation software has improved considerably.

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Author: John Yunker

John co-founded Byte Level Research in 2000 and is author of The Web Globalization Report Card. He also co-founder of Ashland Creek Press.

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