Background and Methodology:
. This is the fourth survey on Internet use and its impact in China, conducted by Professor Guo Liang at the Center for Social Development of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). The previous surveys were conducted in 2001, 2003 and 2005. As such, the current findings allow for longitudinal analysis covering urban areas in China.
. The CASS survey is part of the World Internet Project, founded and organized by Professor Jeff Cole, at the University of South California (USC) Center for the Digital Future, comprising more than 25 countries or regions.
. According to the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), the number of Chinese Internet users had reached 162 million in June 2007, the second largest number after America (211 million). This represents only 12.3 percent of the Chinese population, suggesting scope for considerable more growth.
. The CASS survey focuses on how the Internet is being used and its impact in seven Chinese cities. In order to compare with earlier results, five cities were chosen that were covered in the last three surveys: Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu and Changsha. Xi’an and Shenyang were added this year to increase geographic diversity (in particular, to include the North).
. A weighted sample of 2001 urban residents between the ages of 15 and 59 years were included in the telephone survey, comprising 1,315 Internet users and 686 non-users.