In 1987, with the support of a scientific research group led by Professor Werner Zorn of Karlsruhe University in Germany, a working group in China built up an email node and successfully sent out an email to Germany on September 20. The email's title was "across the Great Wall we can reach every corner in the world."
Two decades have passed since that historical day. It's a short time for a country with a history of 5,000 years, but those 20 years appear destined to make a major difference to the nation.
Having gone through many ups and downs, the Internet in China is developing at an astonishing speed. According to the 20th China Internet Development Statistics Report published by the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), as of June 30, 2007, there had been 162 million Internet users in China, which ranked the country second in the world next to the United States in terms of Internet population. The report said the Internet had penetrated 12.3 percent of China's total population and over the first half of 2007, every minute would witness an increase of 100 netizens. As telecommunications develop in rural areas, people there will also begin to have access to the Internet, making it possible to narrow the digital divide.