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Factors Influencing the Diffusion of the Internet in China: 1997-2001
Unformatted Document Text:  22 Conclusion This paper concludes that, under the present economic growth and minimum telecommunication reform in the near future, China’s Internet population will fall in the normal “S” curve proposed in the diffusion model, and the Internet population will reach its peak at 57 million to 63 million people and then level off. However, with the entry into the WTO, higher Internet penetration will appear in coastal areas, which will be benefited from open telecom market. Unlike most previous studies’ conclusion that economic growth is the most important indicator of Internet diffusion, the determinant model identified in this research suggests that at current stage, the increasing of Internet population correspond with cosmopolitism level, expanding of service industry and the wealth of urban residents. The areas with large Internet population in China are characterized by high degree of cosmopolitan-ness and tend to have a well- educated population, supporting Rogers’ innovator category, which has the same attributes (1994). There is still big economic discrepancy between urban and rural area, and the majority of rural population has not played any significant role in the process of Internet diffusion. Compared to study of Internet diffusion focused on Western countries, the determinants of Internet diffusion and adoption are very different in a developing country with monopoly telecommunication control and a high proportion of heavy industry. The author therefore advocates applying differentiated analysis to regions or countries with different socio-economic background when studying Internet development.

Authors: Lin, Jia.
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22
Conclusion
This paper concludes that, under the present economic growth and
minimum telecommunication reform in the near future, China’s Internet
population will fall in the normal “S” curve proposed in the diffusion model, and
the Internet population will reach its peak at 57 million to 63 million people and
then level off. However, with the entry into the WTO, higher Internet penetration
will appear in coastal areas, which will be benefited from open telecom market.
Unlike most previous studies’ conclusion that economic growth is the most
important indicator of Internet diffusion, the determinant model identified in this
research suggests that at current stage, the increasing of Internet population
correspond with cosmopolitism level, expanding of service industry and the
wealth of urban residents. The areas with large Internet population in China are
characterized by high degree of cosmopolitan-ness and tend to have a well-
educated population, supporting Rogers’ innovator category, which has the same
attributes (1994). There is still big economic discrepancy between urban and
rural area, and the majority of rural population has not played any significant role
in the process of Internet diffusion.
Compared to study of Internet diffusion focused on Western countries, the
determinants of Internet diffusion and adoption are very different in a developing
country with monopoly telecommunication control and a high proportion of heavy
industry. The author therefore advocates applying differentiated analysis to
regions or countries with different socio-economic background when studying
Internet development.


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