The Internet has and is still transforming society, in different ways and at different levels across the world. In China, the change brought by the Internet is comprehensive and profound.
Above all, the Internet has changed the way information is disseminated and received. The right to know the truth, something that used to be unfamiliar to the Chinese people, has become increasingly popular, helping to foster a more democratic society.
The Internet has also boosted Chinese people's enthusiasm for public participation. New things have mushroomed on the Internet, blogging being one of the fastest growing. There are now around 100 million blogs in China. Information can be easily researched and spread on the Internet via written posts or video broadcasts. In the process, the mainstream media have been to some extent left behind. Moreover, the government's way of dealing with public emergencies has changed dramatically due to the stronger grassroots public voices.
Though it's difficult to use accurate figures and numbers to illustrate how the Internet has contributed to China's economic development, the new economy is transforming China's traditional production and consumption modes. Chinese people have gradually accepted and become more reliant on the Internet to solve their needs. Online shopping and dating are catching on. Even in rural areas where Internet access is not so popular or easy, some farmers have begun to sell their vegetables and fruits online. E-commerce including B2B, B2C is of growing importance to Chinese enterprises.