The information industry vice minister told China Telecom Group’s 2006 Work Plan Conference in Beijing on December 19 that, by the end of 2005, it is expected that the number of mainland telephone subscribers will reach 746 million; 393 million using mobiles and 353 million fixed lines.
Xi Guohua said more new Chinese subscribers choose mobiles instead of fixed lines; at the end of 2004 the number of mainland mobile subscribers was 335 million, and this year the average monthly number of new mobile subscribers was nearly five million.
The number of mainland internet users exceeded 100 million, the second largest in the world. More than 50 percent use broadband and 670,000 websites are registered with the ministry.
Every website in China that has an independent domain name and web space must be registered, and the ministry has the right to shut down any that are not.
From January to October 2005, 246.7 billion SMS messages were sent in China, a 40 percent increase year-on-year, in which time the SMS market earned nearly 25 billion yuan.
Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS), WAP and color ring back tone (CRBT) are also developing rapidly, and IPTV, blogs, e-commerce and search engines feature more prominently in people’s daily lives.
Insiders at the conference quoted by Xinhua News Agency the same day said they believed more and more value-added telecom services will emerge in China, especially if 3G becomes available.
(China.org.cn by Wang Sining, December 24, 2005)