Based on surveys conducted twice a year between 1994 and 2000 by leading academic institutions in China and the USA, this study examines internet diffusion in the two countries by age, gender, occupation and educational attainment. It compares user demographics when the internet began and investigates whether they have changed in similar ways in the two countries. In the early development of the internet a similar user profile is indeed found ('young, male, with higher education background, from computer/education-related fields'), however, user demographics in the USA have since moved considerably closer to those of the general population. In China, on the other hand, things have changed more slowly. Though this might seem to imply that the diffusion of the internet into general populations is faster in developed than developing nations, similar data from other nations is needed to support this conclusion.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development