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Last Updated: Friday, 29 December 2006, 09:14 GMT
China's internet users jump 30%

Internet cafe in Beijing - 2005
China still blocks news sites such as the BBC's
The number of people using the internet in China grew by 30% over the last year to 132 million, state media reports.

And the number of people with access to broadband rose to 52 million, Xinhua news agency says.

China already has the world's second largest population of internet users after the United States.

The government encourages internet use for education or business purposes, but has been criticised for censoring items it deems subversive or offensive.

China's internet users rose from 123 million at the end of June to 132 million, according to the state Internet Network Information Centre, Xinhua reports.

Such a rapid rise has boosted the country's online commerce, advertising and games industries, the report adds.

Several people have been jailed in China in recent years for posting information on the internet deemed subversive.

The Chinese government has denied such reports, and insists its regulation of the internet is in line with the rest of the world.

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