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Continuing fast internet growth in China

Yesterday CNNIC (China Internet Network Information Center) presented its half-yearly report about internet usage in China. Again the amount of users has grown significantly, and according to this report China now counts 123 million internet users. This is an increase of 19.4% compared to last year. Last year the growth was 18.4%, so even the growth speed is still going up. China is the second country world-wide based on internet users (number 1 is the US with 147 million users).

Because China’s population is 1.3 billion people, 123 million is not that much yet: 90% of the population is still offline. This leads to huge growth chances for internet companies. Because 82% of all internet users is younger than 35 years, entertainment is still the most important internet activity. Online gaming and watching video’s take a bigger share of the time people spend online. This is also helped by the fact that the broadband penetration increased from 45 million users last year to 77 million this year. The average Chinese spends 16.5 hours per week online (as a comparison, in Holland this is less than 5 hours per week).

Next to entertainment people also buy more products online. Of the 123 million internet users 30 million purchase goods on the internet, an increase of 50% in comparison to last year. Also internet education is getting more popular, at this moment 15 million people are doing courses online.

The report (in Chinese) can be found here.

(cross-posted in Dutch on

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  1. Hello,
    Doing a research on the Shanghai marathon, I came accross your blog…
    Working in Shanghai as well (started three weeks ago!), I want to take part in the marathon, so I wanted to know your personal commments on it…how was it.. hard or not.. is there a half marathon?
    you can email me at:
    Thanks for your help,

  2. Hi Marc,
    my name is Frank Hermeling and I catch your web-side due to the same reason Helen die. The different is that I do not live in Shanghai but for the future I expect a lot of traveling to Shanghai and the area around.
    Do you know the date of the marathon in 2006?
    Additional I must say that your web-side is quite good! A lot of work and time you spend I expect. Thank’s for it!
    If you would like to answer, you can reach me under I`m in this area for another week.
    In any case best regard and congratulation to finish in 2005!!!

  3. Hello Frank and Helene, I just sent both of you an email. But for others who land here a quick summary:
    The marathon is planned on Nov. 26 2006 (date might still change, so check www.

    The marathon itself was not easy (but then again, no marathon is), but the worst part was the pollution. The organizers decided to stop the traffic along the road, and as a consequence there were huge traffic jams next to the runners along most of the route. And of course none of the cars shut off their engines, so you were running in exhaust fumes for quite some time… I hope they learned from this. The route itself was not difficult, only one real elevation (a pretty high bridge over the highway to Hangzhou), and well-marked. Every 5K there was water. The Chinese get wild when they see a foreigner running (most of the participants are locals), and you constantly hear Jia You or Waiguoren!

    There is also a half marathon, which shares most of its course with the full marathon. The race starts at Nanjing Lu/Waitan (next to the Peace Hotel) and ends in Minhang stadium. The start is quite early (7:30 AM).


  4. Hello Marc,
    Looking for Shanghai information I ended up at your bloggers site.
    I “know” you a little already from the TROUW report, a few weeks ago, concerning the Toodou (aardappel)business.
    However, I was more surprised to read about your Marathon experience. Reading through your stories you must be a real busy guy. ( + family life too )
    Congratulation with the result of less than 4 hours. Even considering your injury and the smog you mention. My first marathon was in New York; the result was a little disappointing:4.28. The sudden heat, that day( 26degr.C)demolished me after 22km.( we had a great time after all ) Now in August I will run my 5th in Iceland;Reykjavick martathon.My PR is 3.49 (Eindhoven Oct “05).

    A few weeks ago I had contacted “Randstadholding” Pedung,China;
    for I realy like to work and live(for at least one year) in China.
    I had sent to them my CV and motivation. I had made some calls, and will try later on this week again. They are very polite but not so cooperative so far.(I have this feeling,but maybe language problem only)

    Is it hard to find accomodation in Shanghai?
    I don’t want to bother you too much, maybe..who knows.;)

    The webpage I made the link for, is from my company I currently work for, as a sales coordinator; Surf to “about MEE”- news/events- more.
    You can see my running team which I coached last year.

    if you are willing to reply, pls use my private
    Greetings, ,and thanks in advance.

    Nico van Duijn
    Almere, the Netherlands

  5. Marc

    I’ve lived in Shanghai for over 2yrs and used to run in French concession with the traffic, many times in
    bike lanes like you describe. Now live further out in Minhang district, across street from Minhang Sports Park where I enjoy my run every day. I’ve run 34 marathons – even one with my wife, Chicago in the snow squalls, unforgetable.

    I recommend getting abit out of the pollution and traffic to run, I’m still a short hope to the Metro so it’s not too bad to get anywhere. But since I’m retired, I have much different prospective.

  6. @WHMcHarg
    I have considered to move to a villa outside the city, but for me the daily commute takes too much valuable time. Minhang is not a bad place to run (the Shanghai Marathon ended there last year), and the air is indeed a lot better than downtown.

    This weekend I plan to drive to Moganshan to do a run there. I heard the scenery is amazing and that there are some good tracks (but all up and down mountain slopes).

    Good luck with your next marathon, my next will likely be the Macau marathon (Dec. 3, 006).