1. According to the statistics of China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), by December 31, 2007, the number of Internet users in China has reached up to 210 million, while the number of the broadband Internet users has reached 163 million, accounting for 77.6% of the total. There are totally 11,931,277 domain names in China with 9,001,993 CN names, about 1,503,800 websites, and international bandwidth about 368,927Mbps.
2. During the period from January to February 2008, many x-rated indecent photos of some Hong Kong female entertainers were leaked to the Internet and disseminated quickly, which was known as the “Nude Picture Scandal”. It has started heated discussion on issues of the purification of the Internet environment and protection of personal privacy on Internet.
3. February 25, 2008, eight ministries and administrative offices jointly issued the Opinions on Intensifying Supervision over Internet Maps and Geographic Information Service Websites, requiring further regulations on the Internet maps and geographic information service websites. These eight ministries and administrative offices are: the State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Information Industry, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, General Administration of Press and Publication, State Council Information Office, and Administration for the Protection of State Secrets.
4. March 11, 2008, in accordance with institutional reform of the State Council passed at the 1st Session of the 11th National People’s Congress, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology was set up under the State Council. Responsibilities of the former Ministry of Information Industry and the former State Council Informatization Office have been transferred to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology which now becomes the administrative authority of the Internet industry in China.
5. April 28, 2008, commissioned by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Internet Society of China set up the “12321 Information Center of Indecent and Unsolicited Electronic Messages”, and the complaints and reports can be submitted via telephone calls, feedbacks on websites, e-mail messages, mobile phone texting and WAP.
6. Since May 2008, with the rapid spreading of SNS (Social Networking Service) websites as Kaixin (“being happy”) and Xiaonei (“on the campus”), SNS has become one of the most popular Internet applications in 2008.
7. As for relief news after the earthquake on May the 12th, 2008, in SichuanProvince, people.com, xinhuanet.com, chinanews.com and cctv.com had released about 123,000 pieces of news on the earthquake relief (including pictures, texts, audios and videos) by May 23, 2008, and played a leading role in news releasing; sina.com, sohu.com, NetEase and Tencent jointly released 133,000 pieces of news. The above eight websites received 11.6 billion hits on news with up to 10.63 million follow-up replies. The Internet played an important role in news releasing about earthquake relief, helping people find their missing kin, delivering aids and soliciting donations. The development of China’s Internet media has come to a new stage.
8. June 20, 2008, President Hu Jintao communicated with the Internet users on line through the ChinaForce BBS on people.com. As a key channel for information exchange, the Internet has attracted more and more attention of the government.
9. Up to June 30, 2008, the total number of Internet users in China reached 253 million, ranking first in the world for the first time. On July 22, the CN domain name became the world’s top national domain name with a large registration number of 12.188 million.
10. July 2, 2008, Beijing Administration for Industry and Commerce officially issued the Opinions on Strengthening Supervision and Administration over the Order of Electronic Commerce Market which provides that, from August 1, each profitable on-line shop must obtain a business license before business operation.
11. September 17, 2008, Premier Wen Jiabao made comments on the “reporting letter posted on a blog about concealing of deaths in the landslide accident in Loufan County, Shanxi Province on August 1”, requiring relevant authorities to carry out careful inspection and verification of the major accident of burst of a dam at a refuse ore. The function of Internet as means of supervision by public opinions has caught further attention of the central government.
12. September 28, 2008, according to the official reply to each local taxation bureau by the State Administration of Taxation, the incomes obtained by individuals purchasing virtual currency from Internet players and reselling to others with premiums should be subject to individual income tax, and a 20% individual income tax under the category of “income from transfer of property” should be levied.
13. From November to December 2008, the CCTV exposed successively the defects of the business operational model of two major search engines – Baidu and Google. It has triggered a crisis of confidence of the Internet users in those search engines, and advantages or disadvantages of the pricing on ads based on hitting employed in search engines have also become a hot topic.
14. December 22, 2008, sina.com announced an acquisition of the outdoor digital advertising business of Focus Media Group at a price of about 1.3 billion USD, which was so far the largest Internet purchase in China.
15. According to the statistics of China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), by December 31, 2008, the number of Internet users in China has reached up to 298 million with an Internet penetration rate of 22.6%. The number of the broadband Internet users has reached 270 million, accounting for 90.6% of the total. There are totally 16,826,198 domain names in China with 13,572,326 CN names, about 2,878,000 websites, and international bandwidth about 640,286.67Mbps.