China's Internet Boom, Games, Addiction & other news


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Some factoids over an internet obsessed country.

1. China now has 360 million Internet users and growing. That's more souls on the Internet than the entire US population.

2. Google dominates in every part of the world, except in China, where local search engine Baidu dominates.

3. Shanda, a maker of Chinese MMOs, is one of China's fastest growing companies, if not the entire world.

4. China's MMOs and webgames, like Evony, are spreading fast throughout the entire world. Chinese online games are a major factor in the country's online addiction.

5. World of Warcraft struggles with domestic regulators, much to the chargin of Chinese WoW fans.

6. Although China blocks Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, the local arena is fast breeding ground for all sorts of domestic social networking, blogging and microblogging sites. Call them Facebook and Twitter clones as you will. There is also YouTube clones like YouKu.

7. As 3G begins to spread and carriers poised for 4G, China is also about to undertake a digital mobile revolution, from iPhones to Androids.

8. The Internet is becoming a centerpiece of modern Chinese life. It both transforms and yet disrupts. The government and society sees it both as a double edged sword, yet one must swing with the tide, as so they say.

Put all news here regarding China's net life.


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Proving that Internet business models in China can come and go at the whim of a Chinese government agency, a new government edict states has no authority to operate the World of Warcraft and the company should immediately stop charging users to play the game.

Posted on the website of the General Administration of Press and Publication, the agency responsible for licensing and administering online games in China, is an official statement that asks Shanghai EaseNet Network Technology Limited,'s affiliate, to stop charging fees to World of Warcraft game players. The game is allegedly not being operated with proper approval, and GAPP is evaluating whether to impose administrative penalties on Shanghai EaseNet.

Furthermore, GAPP is returning Shanghai EaseNet's application for approval and Shanghai EaseNet should not allow new account registrations by Internet-based players. World of Warcraft was licensed by from U.S.-based Blizzard Entertainment.

In a company statement, professes that neither it nor Shanghai EaseNet has been officially notified of GAPP's determination of any penalties. The company states it believes it and EaseNet are in full compliance with Chinese laws and they are currently seeking clarification from Chinese authorities regarding this statement by GAPP.

The massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft is something of a cursed object in China. NetEase actually managed to grab the WoW game away from its previous Chinese operator, The9, earlier this year, in a move that sunk The9's earnings.

Not operating the World of Warcraft MMORPG online game in China hit The9 with a CNY79.2 million net loss in the second quarter ended June 30, 2009. Zhu Jun, chairman and CEO of The9 stated at the end of August 2009, "After the cease of the WoW operation upon expiration of the license, our revenue has been significantly reduced. However, we believe we will soon recover from the challenging time and continue to leverage the tremendous growth of China's online game market."


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China Has 360 Million Internet Users

According to statistics published during the 2009 China Internet Conference held in Beijing, by the end of September 2009, the number of China's Internet users had reached 360 million.

Li Yizhong, director for China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said at the conference that the scale of China's network users has been increasing. By the end of September 2009, China had 1.044 billion phone users, including 324 million fixed telephone users and 720 million mobile phone users. The number of websites in China had reached 3.2 million. The number of China's mobile Internet users had reached 192 million, a year-on-year increase of 62.7%.

Han Xia, director for the Bureau of Telecommunication Administration of MIIT, revealed that both the Chinese Internet users and market scale have been increasing since 2008. By the end of September 2009, the number of China's Internet users had reached 360 million; and the number of broadband users in China had reached 99.33 million.

Han added that China's basic Internet resources were also enlarging. There were 123 million IP addresses in China at the end of September 2009, the second largest in the world; and there were five million .CN domain names registered in China. For market scale, the scale of China's Internet industry reached CNY150 billion in 2008, stimulating total output of CNY200 billion in the related information technology, manufacturing, software, and digital content industries.

Li pointed out that the next steps for the development of the Internet industry in China are to enhance the construction of Internet facilities to accelerate the development of this industry; make good use of the resources to improve the value of the network; promote the merger of information and industrialization to cultivate new growth points; and strengthen network and information security management to create a healthy and civilized network environment.

Starting its presence in 2002, the China Internet Conference is now held annually and the latest 2009 China Internet Conference lasted two days from November 2 to 3, 2009. With the focus on China's Internet strength and confidence in the economic crisis background, the conference discussed topics like Internet and service, Internet and people's livelihood, and Internet and advanced culture


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Things got nasty yesterday.

1., China's top search engine, got hacked and defiled by the "Iranian Cyber Army". These are the same hackers who hacked into Twitter, likely in retaliation for the Iranian activism against the ruling regime on Twitter, which has became the most fervent online forum for such.

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2. Google released statements that they will stop censoring results in China, and if the government doesn't like it, they will take their servers and go home. Google also mentioned they were targeted by a sophisticated cyberattack to gain access to various Chinese activist accounts on gmail.

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Google to stop censoring in China, may pull out


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Hehe, here's a conspiracy theory: It was Baidu or hackers hired by them who hacked Google, with the targets chosen to offend the leadership's values. Baidu is looking for an overreaction from Google so that they will be forced out of the Chinese market. Google, after investigating the breach, know the true perpetrators, but want to use the incident to make political hay and build their image in the US. Meanwhile, they hired their own hackers to deface Baidu. Conveniently it is the same Iranian Cyber Army which did a job on Twitter, another future foe of Google. False flag operations on all sides!


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How do we know they are actually Iranians? I'm suspecting there is foreign meddling involved here trying to destabilize China-Iran relation. Getting into politics now, so I'll just stop there.

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The attackers briefly blocked access to China's top search engine by steering traffic to another Web site - where a group reportedly calling itself the 'Iranian Cyber Army' claimed responsibility.

'Services on Baidu's main website
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were interrupted today due to external manipulation of its DNS (domain name server) in the U.S. Baidu has been resolving this issue and the majority of services have been restored,' Baidu spokesman Victor Tseng said in a statement.

The DNS system is effectively the 'address book' that allows the web to function, directing traffic looking for a particular domain name to the correct servers. The attackers interfered with this system, pointing people's browsers looking for to a different site.

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said at a regular news briefing Tuesday that China 'opposes all cyber crimes, including hacking.'

A group calling itself the 'Iranian Cyber Army' also claimed responsibility for taking down Twitter's website in December, using the same DNS technique.

There is no evidence that the 'Iranian Cyber Army' are actually linked to Iran - or even that the same group is definitely responsible for both attacks, although the method appears to be the same. China and Iran have friendly political relations, with China broadly supporting Iran's nuclear program in the face of opposition from the USA and Europe. Baidu themselves have good relations with the Chinese government, implementing restrictions on what Chinese users can search for - making the search engine a strange choice for supposed supporters of the Iranian regime to target.

The attack prompted retaliation by Chinese hackers, who targeted Iranian websites in revenge.

Baidu dominates China's Internet search in the same way that Google dominates the market in just about every other major country in the world. The research firm Analysys International pegs Baidu's share at about 62 percent of China's internet search market, compared to 29 percent for Google.
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The Beidu attack probably because of Chinese VPNs which are used by Iranian dissenters to hide their IP addresses.


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Hehe, here's a conspiracy theory: It was Baidu or hackers hired by them who hacked Google, with the targets chosen to offend the leadership's values. Baidu is looking for an overreaction from Google so that they will be forced out of the Chinese market. Google, after investigating the breach, know the true perpetrators, but want to use the incident to make political hay and build their image in the US. Meanwhile, they hired their own hackers to deface Baidu. Conveniently it is the same Iranian Cyber Army which did a job on Twitter, another future foe of Google. False flag operations on all sides!
i think its more than building an image in the US. hillary clinton is involved so this thing might escalate. we all know that this woman has been marginalized in the obama administration, this is the perfect kind of issue for her to exploit in order to regain ground. there must be a lot of undertable deal going on washington over this stuff.


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How about the conventional wisdom that Google isnt making as much money as it like to, or could make in China, due to censorship and it may looking for an excuse to get out with its head held high. There's absolutely no mistake Google faces some very tough competition in China...maybe they just decided it's not worth the effort.

IMO, I think the Chinese govt will hand Google an ultimatium; something along the lines of "abide by out rules or leave, take it or leave it". If China's govt lets Google cross the red line of opening criticising it and not following its law, every other foreign operating in China will attempt to follow...and IMHO, that's one red line China will never allow anyone or anything to cross.

I'm gonna stop now.

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Google Threat Jolts Chinese Internet Industry

BEIJING — Google Inc.'s threat to walk away from China sent shockwaves through the country's fast-growing Internet industry Wednesday, with users, executives and analysts trying to gauge the potential fallout.

The U.S. search giant's announcement that it will stop censoring its Chinese search site, and may withdraw from the country altogether, triggered an outpouring of concern, and some anger, among Chinese Internet users. Students and others gathered at Google's offices in Beijing and Shanghai Wednesday with flowers in an emotional show of support for the company, which analysts say has an audience of more than 40 million loyal users in China.

"It's a tragedy if Google pulls out of China," said Xu Hao, a junior studying Japanese at Tongji University in Shanghai. Wu Zhiwei, a sophomore studying philosophy at Fudan University in Shanghai, said "a lot of people are very angry at government censorship," and also said he understands that it contradicts Google's philosophies on free-Internet use.

Google's statement, which also said that the company had discovered massive cyber attacks against itself and numerous other foreign companies that it said emanated from China, jolted foreign businesses that operate in the country. It prompted quick response from human rights advocates, who praised Google's statement, and from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who said Google's allegations "raise very serious concerns and questions." "We look to the Chinese government for an explanation," Mrs. Clinton said on a visit to Hawaii. "The ability to operate with confidence in cyberspace is critical in a modern society and economy."

The Internet giant operates a Chinese-language search engine from Beijing that has similar functions to its international English-language Web site, but which tailors its search and other products like news and maps to the needs of users based in China. Because the Web site is operated locally, the company is required to abide by Chinese regulations, including requirements to filter its content and remove search results related to pornography and politically sensitive content, in order to stay in operation.

The Google statement was widely followed on China's Internet, and was initially treated as a major story by local Web sites. But China's official state media offered limited coverage of the issue, and news portals later in the day began restricting coverage of the story after being ordered to play down coverage of it, according to several people working for the portals. Several sites had translated and posted the full text of the statement by David Drummond, Google's chief legal officer, originally published in English on Google's blogspot blog, which is not accessible in China, but these translations appeared to have been removed soon after they were posted.

Internet users continued to comment on the news, however. Some worried their Google e-mail accounts would be deleted, and others expressed concern that Chinese authorities would further tighten its Internet controls. "Our postings on the Internet are deleted by [other] Web sites, or when we upload pictures showing bad things on the street, they are deleted … I don't know what to do without Google," Ms. Xu said.

Google users "are all very active users of the Internet. They have high demand for the stability of Gmail, and also rely on it a lot in their daily lives," said Lu Bowang, managing partner with the China IntelliConsulting Corp. The firm estimates that 80 million people log on to Google at least once a week, and half are frequent users of the Web site. If Google leaves China, the impact on the Chinese Internet will be "huge," Mr. Lu said.

Despite significant difficulties along the way, Google has had a major impact throughout China's information technology sector since it entered the market in 2005. If the U.S. company's decision to discontinue its cooperation with Chinese censors leads to the shuttering of its Chinese Web site,, it could throw the future of its investments and partnerships throughout the Chinese Internet and telecommunications sectors into question – while also potentially creating opportunities for Chinese rivals.

Google last March launched a music service in cooperation with, a Chinese company in which it owns a stake, and with the world's four biggest music labels, Warner Music Group Corp., Vivendi SA's Universal Music, EMI Group Ltd., and Sony Corp.'s Sony Music Entertainment. That free, advertising-supported service, which lets users download or stream music in China, has been closely watched as a possible solution to rampant music piracy.

Sina Corp., one of China's largest Internet portals, partners with Google to offer the American company's search bar on its home page. China Mobile Ltd., the country's largest mobile carrier, uses Google's Chinese mobile search service on its handset browsers. The state-owned company has released several smart phones that run on Google's Android operating system, and is planning many more in partnership with various handset makers, as part of its competitive response to a rival carrier's launch of Apple Inc.'s iPhone in China.

Officials at Google's partner companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment, and it's not clear that its other initiatives and investments would be damaged if Google shuts its Chinese search business. Technically, most of Google's partnerships and other investments could continue, but by snubbing Chinese authorities so publicly, the company risks government retaliation against itself or its partners.

Google's share of the Chinese market has risen markedly in recent years, to 35.6% in the fourth quarter of 2009 from less than half that just three years earlier, according to Beijing-based research firm Analysys International. That still made it a distant second to Chinese competitor Baidu Inc., which boasted 58.4% market share in the latest period. But it makes Google arguably the most successful foreign Internet company in China, whose 338 million Internet users as of June were more than any other country.

Chinese government officials have yet to respond to Google's declaration, and Chinese media were largely silent on the issue, with some reporters saying the topics of censorship and cyber espionage were too sensitive. But a report by China's state-run Xinhua news agency quoted an official at China's State Council Information Office saying authorities were seeking more information on the Google statement. As of Wednesday, Google's Chinese Web site was still filtering search results, with a message at the bottom of its Web pages notifying users of the practice.

News of the security breach at Google and other companies alarmed other foreign companies with China operations. Google's statement against censorship in China also set a new standard for many multinational companies that have cooperated with the Chinese government for years, saying that sacrifices had to be made in order to reach China's massive market.

Mr. Lu lamented the possibility of Google's departure. He said Google's "influence on the Chinese Internet industry goes far beyond its role as a search engine, mostly thanks to its strong power of innovation … the existence of Google in the Chinese market was always regarded as a motivation for Chinese Internet ventures' efforts to innovate. Without Google, such motivation … would be gone."

Still, analysts said some in the industry could stand to benefit from Google's departure. Baidu, for example, could immediately benefit if its main competitor vanishes—although it might also risk a backlash if Chinese users angry over Google's treatment see Baidu as aligned with government censors.

Chinese Internet portals such as Inc., Inc., and Tencent Holdings Ltd.--all of which have their own search engines with negligible market share—could also benefit.

"If Google pulls out from the market completely, it will be a fight between Tencent, Netease and Sohu for the number two spot," said Elinor Leung, an analyst at CLSA