More net users in Taiwan than in China?

Agence France Presse

Beijing, May 26:

Although China has the second largest number of Internet users in the world, it lags behind even Taiwan when it comes to online games, an industry analyst said today. China’s online games market recorded total revenue of $159.7 million last year, according to consulting firm IDC. That puts it behind Taiwan, although China has four times as many Internet users — nearly 80 million — as Taiwan has people.

However, China’s online games market grew by 46 per cent in 2003 and is likely to continue expanding rapidly to overtake first Taiwan and then South Korea to become the Asia-Pacific’s largest market within the next three years, IDC said.

IDC’s report came shortly after Chinese state media said the country’s huge online numbers had also failed to translate into any sizable advertising market. Last year the Chinese Internet ad business was valued at $130 million, little more than one percent of a worldwide market totalling $11.5 billion, the People’s Daily reported last week.