China leads rapid growth of online audiences in Asia


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The online population in Asian and Pacific countries grew by 22 percent last year. China led the growth with an incredible 31 percent increase – to 220 million – in total unique Web visitors. These latest numbers of the region’s explosive Internet growth are according to a report, released last month by Internet researcher comScore, measuring online audiences in the region and individual countries between September 2008 and 2009.

The report indicates that Internet audiences in Japan, India and South Korea also saw double-digit growth and that the Asia-Pacific region now has 41 percent – or 441 million people – of the global Internet audience. It’s interesting to see how quickly things have changed since the last time we wrote about an earlier report from comScore.

If you want to examine more of the report’s findings you can see the related press release, or download a presentation on the subject here. (Note: To download the slides, you have to provide them with your name and some contact info.)

I’ve pointed before to World Bank evidence that shows the Internet may lead to improved economic growth, job creation and good governance. What else do you think such increased connectivity could mean for development in the region?

December 01, 2009

I'd agree that job growth is likely to be a result of increased connectivity in Asia. I'd like to think that healthcare/life expectancy would improve as well though. Internet access would allow millions of common ailments to be diagnosed; either via information received directly by the sick on the web or via doctors delivering diagnosis remotely. This is already occurring across the globe--major news outlets recently reported an Indian hospital that has been sending doctors into rural areas with iPhones so they could see patients and send images/info of their ailments back to the hospital for analysis. If rural populations had steady internet access, it might even be feasible for such analysis to be conducted without sending the doctor into the field.