Gi­ant leap

ChinAfrica - - Cover Story -

Ac­tu­ally, these tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance­ments took place within only 30 years. On Septem­ber 20, 1987 when most Chi­nese peo­ple were still writ­ing let­ters to com­mu­ni­cate, a group of Chi­nese sci­en­tists were look­ing for faster and bet­ter ways of com­mu­ni­ca­tion. When Li Chengjiong, then Di­rec­tor of the In­sti­tute for Com­puter Ap­pli­ca­tion, and Werner Zorn, known as the “Fa­ther of the In­ter­net of Ger­many,” col­lab­o­rated to send China’s first email, read­ing, “Across the Great Wall, we can reach ev­ery cor­ner of the world,” to Ger­many, they did not fore­see that this act would bring such pro­found change to all as­pects of Chi­nese life in the com­ing years. This move also in­di­cated the birth of the In­ter­net in China.

Af­ter China opened its 64K ded­i­cated line con­nect­ing to the In­ter­net in 1994, the num­ber of In­ter­net users grew rapidly. Ac­cord­ing to the 40th Sta­tis­ti­cal Re­port on In­ter­net De­vel­op­ment in China is­sued by China In­ter­net Net­work In­for­ma­tion Cen­ter (CNNIC) in Au­gust, China had 751 mil­lion In­ter­net users by June 2017, ac­count­ing for one-fifth of the world’s to­tal. In other words, a to­tal of 54.3 per­cent of China’s pop­u­la­tion are us­ing the In­ter­net. Of these, 724 mil­lion peo­ple use the In­ter­net with their mo­bile de­vices.

Within 30 years, China has gone from a fol­lower to a leader in In­ter­net de­vel­op­ment, ac­cord­ing to Mary Meeker, known as the “Queen of Net,” in her re­port

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