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Telecommunications in China

The Ministry of Information Industry reported in 2004 that China had 295 million subscribers to main telephone lines and 305 million cellular telephone subscribers, the highest numbers in both categories in the world but second per capita to the United States.\

Both categories showed substantial increases over the previous decade; in 1995 there were only 3.6 million cellular telephone subscribers and around 20 million main-line telephone subscribers. By 2003 there were 42 telephones per 100 population. Internet use also has soared in China from about 60,000 Internet users in 1995 to 22.5 million users in 2000; by 2005 the number had reached 103 million. Although this figure is well below the 159 million users in the United States and although fairly low per capita, it was second in the world and on a par with Japan’s 57 million users.

China’s 2.7 million kilometers of optical fiber telecommunication cables by 2003 assisted greatly in the modernization process. China produces an increasing volume of televisions both for domestic use and export.

In 2001 China produced more than 46 million televisions and claimed 317 million sets in use. At the same time, there were 417 million radios in use in China, a rate of 342 per 1,000 population. However, many more are reached, especially in rural areas, via loudspeaker broadcasts of radio programs that bring transmissions to large numbers of radioless households.

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