It did not give comparative figures, but said the number of Web sites in China, with a population of about 1.3 billion, would reach 500,000 and online computers would hit 30 million by the end of the year.Maybe it's time to open a Chinese version of DV Hardware .
Hu Qiheng, chairwoman of the society, was quoted as saying the Internet sector in China still lagged developed countries.
China's Internet penetration rate was only 5.2 percent, compared with 63.2 percent in the United States and an average 10.7 percent for all countries surveyed, she was quoted as saying.
It did not explain how the percentages were reached.
The semi-official research centre said China overtook Japan at the end of 2002 as the world's second-largest group of online surfers after the United States.