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Saturday, 23 September, 2000, 11:42 GMT 12:42 UK
$10m boost to China's web research
Chinese web users
China experiencing online boom
China's internet research efforts receive a $10 million boost from the Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing.

He made the donation to Beijing's elite Qinghua University to fund a research centre to work on the next generation of internet technology, said the Xinhua news agency.

The aim of the research, labelled "Internet Two", is to enable computer networks to run 1,000 times faster than at present, with greater safety and stability.

The project is backed by the Ministry of Education, which is providing $5 million.

Global competition

More than 170 universities around the world are conducting research on the "Internet Two" technology. "Asian countries are backward in the research and development of the first generation of Internet technology," Li Ka-shing is quoted as saying in the China Daily newspaper.

"But on the development Internet Two, I believe the distance between us and Western countries will not be too large," he said at a donation ceremony.

China is keen to capitalise on the internet's economic and propaganda potential.

But it is nervous that the internet will expose Chinese people to anti-government information.

There has been an explosive growth of the internet in China, with the number of users doubling every six months to nearly 15 million in June.

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See also:

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29 Jan 00 | Asia-Pacific
Can governments control the internet?
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19 Jan 00 | Asia-Pacific
Online boom for China
09 Aug 00 | Asia-Pacific
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