Pow Internet claims that within two years there will be more Internet users in China than in the U.S.:
There are now an estimated 137 million Internet users in China, and that number has been growing by 18 percent since 2004 until it picked up even more steam in 2006, going up to 23 percent. The United States has 165 million Internet users, according to Pew, with 25 million of those users being aged 12-17. At the current rate of growth in China, the number of Chinese web surfers will surpass the number of American users some time in 2009, and it will continue to rise sharply afterward. With more than half of Americans already online, China's growth over the next 10 years will easily dwarf that of the United States.
While Pew can only estimate the number of Internet users in China, the figure's size isn't difficult to accept. China's overall population of 1.32 billion indicates that roughly 10 percent of the population is online now. According to Pew, most Internet users in China are young, male, and live in major urban centers: only 17 percent of Chinese web users are from rural areas, and a staggeringly small 0.4 percent are peasants and farmers. One farmer summed up the situation vividly: "To us farmers, a computer is no different from an aircraft carrier, because neither has a bearing on our life."