The China Matrix
Weekly Press Review

January 13th, 1999

© Kenneth Neil Farrall 1999

last week's press review

Topping China Internet news over the past seven days was Nicholas Negropronte's highly promoted visit to China. In Beijing last Friday, Negropronte ventured into controversial territory when he commented that a "healthy disrespect for authority" is one of the primary ingredients for a truly digital society. In the same speech, Negropronte praised his Chinese audience for their willingness to engage in open debate and predicted that China net usership would reach 10 million by the end of next year. In related news, several online news outlets, including the South China Morning Post, Yahoo Singapore, and Newsbytes Pacifica, carried Matrix East's own projections for China Internet growth: 13 million Internet users by the middle of 2001.

This past week saw positive news from two Chinese content and service companies. Charles Zhang, chief of leading domestic (and recently renamed) portal Sohu, announced that the web site has broken even after only 11 months of operation, and expects to show a profit next year. Also this week, bilingual career oriented web site Zhaopin announced a ten fold increase in revenues over last year. The site generates 30 to 40,000 page views a day and serves clients like Dow Jones China.

Also this week, The Ministry of Information Industry has finally announced its formal decision to restructure China Telecom. The telecom body will be split into four companies: fixed telephone, mobile phone, satellite transmission and pager services. The plan will have little effect on China Telecom's monopoly of fixed phone service but could put China Unicom on more equal footing with the newly independent mobile telephony company.

Rounding out the past weeks news, an article in the government run China Daily stressed the importance of the Internet to China's development. The article called the Net "crucial to the development of the nation's information industry, the future lifeline of the national economy" and said the Internet has bright prospects despite current infrastructural limitations. "Since the Internet will allow individuals and companies to make global contacts, create corporate or brand images as well as learn about financial and trade information, those with Internet access will have a distinct advantage," the article said.

Relevant articles and links below:

Web guru tells Chinese audiences 'healthy disrespect' is key to success in digital age
-- January 8, 1999
-- Matt Pottinger, Nando.Net

Internet users may reach nine million by 2000
-- January 11, 1999
-- Agence France Presse, South China Morning Post

Chinese Internet Firm Posts Profit After One Year
-- January 11, 1999
-- Staff, IT Daily. Yahoo in Asia News.

China Job Site Increases Revenue Ten Fold
-- January 8, 1999
-- Hans Lombardo,

China Telecom to Split into Four Divisions
(Zhong Guo Dian Xin Jiang Bing Si Fen Lu)
-- January 4, 1999
-- Chinese GB only,

Internet use in China crucial for development
-- January 6, 1999
-- Xiao Zheng, China Daily

Adobe Launches Chinese Web Site
-- January 12, 1999
-- Martyn Williams, Newsbytes

Pop culture bridges political gap
-- January 7, 1999
-- Kevin Platt, Christian Science Monitor

Chinese police catch 13-year-old computer hacker
-- Janaury 9, 1999 -- CNN