China's MIIT says country will have 800 million Internet users by 2015
China will continue to be a dominant country for the Internet, with China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) reporting that the user base will reach 800 million in 2015.
Miao Wei, MIIT minister, said Internet usage growth will be driven by the country's "Broadband China" project, which is designed to bring fiber-based service to urban areas and expand the availability of broadband services in rural areas.
Broadband is a big part of China's Internet goals. Liu Lihua, vice minister of the MIIT, said in a telecoms.com article that they have set a goal of having over 250 million broadband users by the end of 2012, with speeds of up to 20 Mbps in urban areas and 4 Mbps in rural areas. The regulator also wants to make broadband available to 95 percent of the country over the next two years.
It appears China is on its way to seeing the 800 million number become a reality. According to the Internet Society of China, the country had about 505 million Internet users with about 150 million of them having a broadband connection at the end of 2011.
One service provider that's being particularly aggressive with broadband service rollouts is China Telecom (NYSE: CHA). Last May, the telco set a goal of delivering FTTH services to 1 million subscribers by the end of 2012 to reach a total of 2.3 million subscribers.
Of course, broadband and Internet usage is nothing without new applications. Over the next two years, the MIIT plans to drive ongoing developments in various Internet applications including mobile Internet, e-commerce, cloud services and M2M services.