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Monday, 8 July, 2002, 05:11 GMT 06:11 UK
Wireless internet arrives in China
Chinese people using an online phone at a computer exhibition in Beijing
Only about 3% of the Chinese people are online
Wireless internet equipment which can be shared by a building's occupants will soon bring millions of Chinese people online, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

Users in the Shandong Region in East China will be kitted out with a card which will give them wireless broadband access to the internet.

Shandong East Communications has signed a deal with Hughes Network Systems of the US for the supply of the 26GHz technology.

Massive market

About 33 million Chinese people use the internet, according to official figures.

That is only about 3% of the population, though access is growing fast.

This has posed a problem for the Chinese Government which is keen to take advantage of the commercial benefits of the web, yet loath to accept the loss of control over what people see and read that comes with it.

In an effort to solve the problem, the authorities have asked local internet service providers (ISPs) to sign an agreement to control the material the public can view on the web.

Xinhua recently reported that growing numbers of providers have joined what is described as a "self-discipline" scheme.

Earlier, China announced plans to shut down about 150,000 unlicensed internet cafes nationwide.

See also:

05 Jul 02 | Asia-Pacific
28 Jun 02 | Asia-Pacific
19 Jun 02 | Asia-Pacific
06 Jun 02 | Business
05 Jun 02 | Asia-Pacific
11 Feb 02 | Science/Nature
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