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China's Internet users have reached 50 million

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[Shanghai] The China Internet Conference held in Shanghai announced that as of the end of September 2002, there are 54 million Internet users in China; this number represents 4% of China’s population, compared to 39% in North America and 27% in Europe. It is also reported that there are over 20 million computers connected to the Internet in China, with 81,907 websites available to the users. Due to strict censorship, Internet search engines such as the popular and are filtered by Beijing to carry “non-subversive content”. Human rights groups, including Reporters Without Borders, have reported that over 500,000 foreign websites such as the BBC and CNN are banned in China, owing to their “subversive elements”. China has the most sophisticated cyber policeforce monitoring Internet content and web surfers, and it has built the so-called “Great Firewall of China” to block or filter foreign press and websites.

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