China's internet population surpasses that of U.S.

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

We're number -- two. China has surpassed the United States as the nation with the world's largest Internet population.

The Beijing government says it has 253 million people online at the end of June. That figure represents a 56-percent increase from a year ago. By comparison, the U.S. had an estimated 223 million Internet users at the end of June.

Despite the drop to number two, the U.S. can still claim the largest number of unrestricted Internet users in the world. China's communist government urges people to use the Internet for business and education but tries to block access to Web sites it considers pornographic or subversive.

Web surfers have been jailed for posting or e-mailing material that criticizes communist rule or is deemed a violation of vague national security laws.

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