Image: Chefs surf the Internet
AP
Chefs surf the Internet at a cafe in Shanghai, China. China's population of Internet users, the world's second-largest after the United States, has risen by 30 percent over the past year to 132 million, a state news agency said.
updated 12/29/2006 11:01:43 AM ET 2006-12-29T16:01:43

China's population of Internet users has risen by 30 percent over the past year to 132 million, a state news agency said Friday.

The figure was up from 123 million at the end of June, the Xinhua News Agency said, citing the government's China Internet Network Information Center.

It said the number of Chinese customers with broadband access has grown to 52 million.

The rapid rise in Internet use has propelled growth in China's online commerce, advertising and games industries, the Internet agency said.

China's communist government encourages Internet use for business and education but tries to block access to material deemed subversive or pornographic. Dozens of people have been jailed on subversion or security charges for posting political essays online.

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