Chinese go online... in force

China's working masses are colonising the Internet, according to a new report from China's official state news agency, Xinhua.

The report estimates four million Chinese went online in June 1999 and claims that number will have grown to between five and eight million by the end of the year.

Earlier this year, the Chinese government was thought to have deliberately understated the number of Chinese using the Internet in order to disguise the extent of unofficial use. Individuals are supposed to register in order to go online.

These new figures are the first to take account of unofficial users.

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