Chinese internet users spent almost two hours and 20 minutes online every day in 2006, representing an increase of 56 per cent from 2002, new research has revealed.
The average Chinese surfer spent almost 138 minutes a day online in 2006, compared to slightly more than 88 minutes in 2002, according to a recent report by local research firm CTR Market Research.
This compares to an average of 140 to 145 minutes spent watching TV.
At the same time, the total number of people online in China is increasing rapidly, estimated at almost 140 million by the government-sponsored China Internet Network Information Center.
This represented an annual increase of 23 per cent, a rate of growth expected to continue through to at least 2008, officials said. Analysts at JP Morgan predict the total to exceed 190 million within four years.
Businesses are particularly heavy internet users, CTR reported, spending more than 151 minutes online per day last year.
The growing availability of high-speed broadband connections is seen as a key driver of the growth in internet use in China, the world's most populous nation.
China's broadband use has been grown at a compound average rate of 79 per cent, and is expected to reach 79 million subscribers this year, according to a forecast by Ovum.
The UK-based research firm predicts that there will be 139 million broadband connections in China by 2010.
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