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China to Top U.S. in Broadband Subscribers 530

An anonymous reader writes "China already is rapidly approaching the United States as the country with the largest number of broadband subscribers, according to the El Segundo, Calif.-based firm, and by the end of the year, China is expected to have 34 million subscribers, compared to 39 million in the United States. By the end of 2007, China is expected to have 57 million broadband subscribers, compared to 54 million in the United States, with an even wider lead in the years to follow."
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China to Top U.S. in Broadband Subscribers

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  • i would hope so (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hsmith ( 818216 ) on Wednesday May 04, 2005 @10:18PM (#12437839)
    considering they have 4x as many people than us in an are that is a bit more densely populated
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 04, 2005 @10:18PM (#12437840)
    It's a lot easier to have more subscribers/anything when you have almost 4 times the population.

    This isn't very interesting news at all.

    Next on slashdot: China Tops US in rice consumption.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Followed by US tops China in arrogance
      • You will not get away with this!!!
    • by SaDan ( 81097 ) on Wednesday May 04, 2005 @10:39PM (#12437989) Homepage
      Yeah, but they'll NEVER beat us at BUTTER consumption!
    • by jmv ( 93421 ) on Wednesday May 04, 2005 @11:00PM (#12438105) Homepage
      Next: China tops US in fuel consumption. That's when it's going to get really scary (I guess it's already scary that 4% of the world population consumes 25% of the energy).
      • by TheKidWho ( 705796 ) on Wednesday May 04, 2005 @11:20PM (#12438219)
        and also produces 25% of all goods.

        Makes sense doesn't it now? Turn off your selective memory.
        • and given the huge trade deficit, probably consumes something like 30% of all goods.
        • by stupidfoo ( 836212 ) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @12:16AM (#12438523)
          Actually the US produces closer to 29-30% of the world's goods with 25% of the world's "resources". So, we produce goods at a higher efficiency than the rest of the world (on average).

          But you're right, that doesn't sound quite as sexy. It's like when people complain about the US's "record" deficits even though it, as a percentage of it's GDP, is no where near record levels and is lower than most of Europe. But again, that's not as sexy.
        • ...and consumes 25% of all goods. It's not like the US is really producing goods for other countries (yes, I've heard of exportations), since its commercial balance is negative. The environmental situation is already bad with what the US does (it's not the only country polluting, but the largest at the moment). What's even more scary is the thought of China imitating the US development and reaching the same level of production/pollution as the US _per capita_. That would mean 5 times more pollution than the
        • Really? No, REALLY? Really, really, really??? Where did you get the 25% number?

          1. Take a look at USA trade deficite. That is by no means an indicator that we are dealing with a country that is manifacturing 1/4 of goods producing worldwide. It was what, something like ~60BN USD when I last took a look at it.

          2. Take a look at where the plants are located. Have any significant amount of manifacturing action in US? Ok, big, fuel thursty cards and overpriced medicaments, but anything else?

          3. USA dollar is fa
    • Not that simple. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by fm6 ( 162816 ) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @12:17AM (#12438532) Homepage Journal
      1.1 billion people is just so many warm bodies --they mean nothing unless they're part of a vital economy. Fifty years the population ratio was almost as lopsided, but the Chinese couldn't even feed themselves, much less buy fancy technology. At that time, the U.S. dominated the planet in infrastructure, manufacturing base, skilled workforce, advanced, raw economic power, and a lot of other factors. Not led, dominated.

      In 1955, most people wouldn't have had any notion what "Broadband Internet Access" was. But if you could make them understand that it was a key technology of the 21st century, and that it would be more available in China than in the U.S....

      An American would have reported you to the FBI for spreading commie propaganda. And a Chinese would have shaken his head at your obvious dementia. The U.S. has lost its edge, and this is another sign of it.

      • "and that it would be more available in China than in the U.S...."

        It's not more available in China than the US. To use your "China couldn't feed itself" analogy that is like saying that while "China couldn't feed itself" it still consumed more food than the US did in 1955 and therefore food was "more availble in China than in the US." Also you conviently forget that the internet in China is not the same as the internet in the US. The US has more restrictions on it than a lot of other places, but certai
  • Great! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 04, 2005 @10:19PM (#12437856)
    High speed access to everything the government wants them to see.
    • They have the Grreat Firewall of China, you have the Grreat DMCA of America.

      Speaking as a person living outside both those countries, it looks like you guys are pretty even.

  • So? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Raul654 ( 453029 ) on Wednesday May 04, 2005 @10:21PM (#12437873) Homepage
    Look at a population map of china []. Now look at one of the US []. Half of china has a population density of less than 2.5 people per square mile, and the other half has more than 500. Getting a large section of the country wired very quickly is pretty easy. The US population, on the other hand, is spread really thin. So it's not surprising that China could overtake the US quickly.
    • The reasons, or excuses, or whatever you want to call it, are not really relevant to their threat as a competitor. They are churning out engineers and other educated people in huge numbers, and their economy is growing very fast.

      Some aspects of economics are zero-sum. The world has a fixed amount of minerals and fossil fuels, and only needs a small handful of semiconductor companies.

    • The big problem in the USA is that due to the sprawled-out nature of many surburban areas and the large number of people living in rural areas, trying to get broadband Internet via xDSL, cable modem or T-1/T-3 connections to these folks becomes economically unfeasible; this is unlike Europe, Japan, South Korea or eastern China, where the population density is high enough to hardwire every residence and/or small business for broadband access economically despite the exorbitant construction costs involved.

  • by binaryspiral ( 784263 ) on Wednesday May 04, 2005 @10:21PM (#12437874)
    So what if more people in China have broadband... most of the content of the Internet is monitored and filtered by the Chinese government.

    Score one for the rest of the free world.

  • Doesn't the article title contridict what the summary says.

    Could the title be 'China soon to topple US...'?
  • by mrogers ( 85392 ) on Wednesday May 04, 2005 @10:24PM (#12437897)
    Now they can fail to find information about democracy, Falun Gong, Christianity or encryption software at blazing 2 megabit speeds! Hooray for broadband!
  • by Capella or Bust ( 521807 ) on Wednesday May 04, 2005 @10:25PM (#12437900)
    In other news, reports indicate that the China has far surpassed the US in terms of the number of households that contain "lungs." These "lungs" are being used by the Chinese to breathe "air," and it is widely fear that the Chinese may very well breath more "air" than any other civilized nation on earth, followed closely by India.
  • by joetheappleguy ( 865543 ) on Wednesday May 04, 2005 @10:25PM (#12437902) Homepage
    A big chunk of the Internet is denied to people behind the Great Firewall of China.

    Good or bad our 54 million broadband subscribers get the WHOLE Internet, even the crazy North Korean bits

    Now when is China going to beat that?
  • Of course... (Score:5, Informative)

    by carambola5 ( 456983 ) on Wednesday May 04, 2005 @10:26PM (#12437914) Homepage
    Of course for China, that's 2.9% while for the US, it's 13.5%.

    Check for yourself: []

    Hooray for manipulating statistics!
  • by Quickfry ( 799118 ) <stuart.adams@gSL ... com minus distro> on Wednesday May 04, 2005 @10:27PM (#12437925) Homepage Journal
    Canada is higher than the US, per capita (which is what counts) I mean hell, our country is made up of lots of ice, mountains, and trees, and even our eskimos have a fat pipe!
    • ...even our eskimos have a fat pipe!

      I am not sure that is what they are speaking of.
    • Its funny you'd make that point... like China, Canada is a really big nation with a very densely populated area and an area that's not at all densely populated, although the difference between the two regions is obviously greater.

      Its easy to wire major metropolitan areas in Canada for broadband, they're relatively large and not too spaced out. the region from Québec City, through Montréal, Ottawa and heading to Toronto is the population equivalent of the US's northeast, the centre for industry a
  • The summary says,

    "...according to the El Segundo, Calif.-based firm..."

    Er... according to WHICH El Segundo, Calif.-based firm? There must be more than one firm in El Segundo, Calif. Or is this the teaser that's supposed to entice me to read the fine article?
  • by anandpur ( 303114 ) on Wednesday May 04, 2005 @10:43PM (#12438011)
    Other news by 2007 every Indian can be Subscribers of Broadband nologyNews&storyID=8386370 []
  • I frequently wonder: "What are the Chinese doing with their broadband? Are they writing Free Software with it?"

    I look at the Planet Gnome [] map, [] and I see like: 4 GNOME developers in China.

    Is there a Free Software community in China?

    Are they working on stuff we don't know about?

    I'm having visions of like: One day, we discover there's a third pillar, in addition to just KDE and GNOME. And we didn't even know about it, because everything was worked on in Chinese, which we never searched for.
  • 34 million subscribers, compared to 39 million in the United States. By the end of 2007, China is expected to have 57 million broadband subscribers, compared to 54 million in the United States, with an even wider lead in the years to follow."

    39 million... out of 300 million total people.
    34 million... out of 6 billion total people.

    So 1/9 verse 1/20th of the overall population... hardly seems so bad now. I will say the US is slipping, but that has more to do with our geography and population spread than a
    • It's ``fair" because raw numbers matter. Which is the same reason the U.S. is a very important market, as opposed to say, Iceland. If you want to make a bunch of money selling services to broadband subscribers, who cares what the overall population is, if there's a bigger market in absolute terms?
  • I believe some people are missing the point, and aren't looking at the underlying issue. The relative disparity between economic growth, 'market' (I use the term loosely) functionality and political stability over the past 50 years has meant that while the US has enjoyed sustained and profitable economic growth, China has only turned around a number of its economic policies in the last decade or so; it is thus only recently beginning to develop technologically.

    The essence of a comparison is that while t
  • by stealth.c ( 724419 ) on Wednesday May 04, 2005 @11:03PM (#12438128)
    Within a decade, China's going to be "it." Not the USA. I know it's blasphemy to most Americans to say so, but it's a plain and simple fact.

    At least when that happens, maybe we can get our manufacturing jobs back. Maybe we won't have to live in this stagnant consumer culture and it'll be fashionable to NOT be up to your earlobes in debt. Maybe sunshine will burst out of our asses.

    I, for one, welcome our new Sino-Overlords.
    • It's not blasphemy, it's just common sense. If China has 4 times the population of the US, then it should be 4 times as productive as the US. The real question is, why has it taken this long for these countries to "catch up" to their potential? From an economic point of view, it's inexcusable. Think of the cancer treatments we would have, the incredibly stable world economy, the competition that would drive product costs down and job satisfaction up...We should have had all this hundreds of years ago.
    • I, for one, welcome our new Sino-Overlords.

      That is, of course, until their tanks interrupt your shopping trip.
    • When (if) China becomes a economic supercenter, it won't be at the direct expense of the American lifestyle. Economics isn't a zero sum game, after all.
      • " When (if) China becomes a economic supercenter, it won't be at the direct expense of the American lifestyle. Economics isn't a zero sum game, after all."

        No it will be at the expense of natural resources. The economy IS a zero sum game but not the way most people think. Economic advancement comes at the cost of natural resources. Since there is not an infinate amount of natural resources the economy is a zero sum game.

        Actually the only way for the economy not be a zero sum game would be for there to be a
    • by Pros_n_Cons ( 535669 ) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @12:58AM (#12438706)
      I know its "in" to hate the USA (certainly on this site) but this story shows the desperation of people to show how the "USA is losing it" and this is the best they can come up with? That is testement to just how darned strong the USA still is. While the rest of the world is trying so hard to show up the americans, the US is busy working on the next technology that will leave half of the world in the dust. Cars were suppose to be the end of the US, but little did they know about this TCP/computers thingy being worked on. Now the rest of the world fights over broadband while we're up on mars studying the water we just found. Think about it.
  • firewall? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by karpediem ( 837477 )
    With THAT many people on high speed connections, how does Big Brother intend to censor them from that evil word, *democracy*? I imagine they could use their Great Wall of China as a hardware firewall if push comes to shove!
  • Name any five major Chinese cities and you have a greater population than the United States as a whole. In the future, internet access will be 10 to 1 in favor of China. Will it be un-censored? Look up the population of India and see what it's internet access will be once the infrastructure is in place.

    Does it mean anything? No. Considering most of our rural population still has multiple choices for dial-up/satellite internet access. Hell, my sister is in Nebraska with no choice of broadband, but she has

  • Here's a better article [], with some statistics:

    How exactly do they collect this information? It's not like the Chinese are real forthcoming with reliable info.

    BTW, This is just another excuse for slashdot editors to kick the US in the crotch.

  • China is expected to have 34 million subscribers, compared to 39 million in the United States.

    So, we measure broadband penetration by percentage of total population when we compare the US to Korea, but for China we just look at the straight population numbers? Well so long as the US lools bad, right?

  • Communism at work.. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by going_the_2Rpi_way ( 818355 ) on Wednesday May 04, 2005 @11:43PM (#12438359) Homepage
    Not surprising really, since most 'broadband' sharing type setups are very socialist in nature. I wonder just how 'broad' that band really is.
    I mean, I've heard Cuba touted as having the 'best' healthcare system in the world (honestly!)... , but I don't think you'd have easy access to a CAT scan unless your name was Fidel. It might be the most 'even' perhaps in that almost everyone has the same lack of access.
    Any bandwidth figures?
  • Yeah! (Score:3, Funny)

    by TheRealStubot ( 639076 ) on Wednesday May 04, 2005 @11:52PM (#12438404)
    And that was with ONE Linksys wireless router, strategically placed in Bejing.

  • Great, i can get my fill of propoganda FASTER now.

    Who do these fucks think they are kidding. Just like SARS was under control and the bridge over the river that was DAMMED, this is in line with everything else. The only music download that does not include your closest relative paying for the bullet is "Dance Like Mao".

    Just wait, they will get close, then fall away like every other US wannabe. Maybe they can have a cross between commie and rep, get everyone included, stop acting like the barbarians th
  • Head in the sand (Score:3, Insightful)

    by travellerjohn ( 772758 ) on Thursday May 05, 2005 @12:15AM (#12438515) Journal
    More broadband, more people, booming economy, bigger army.

    When the US going to wake up and realise that China is big and powerful and growing?

    A quick trip around some of the major Chinese cities and and you can see a booming economy, new cars, lots of construction, retail and manufacturing. The Chinese are catching up quick. And I dont think most Chinese are too worried about censorship so long as they can make money.

    Meanwhile the US is mucking about in Iraq, and lecturing other people on how to run their own countries. (Something that doesnt go down too well.)

    It is only a matter of time before the Chinese economy catches up with the US, and I dont think they will be too well inclined towards the US. Then perhaps we will be wishing we paid a little more attention and were a little less arrogant.

    Broadband is only one of many indicators that the USA's economic dominance might be shortlived.
  • I see this all the time, only usually like, "there are as many MRI machines in New York State as there are in all of Canada". That's shocking, but have you ever compared the populations?

    What a stupid story. You can compare some things based on actual numbers, like military figures, but this kind of stuff has to be per capita.
  • America is pretty good at consuming goods/services but with the population advantage China has theye's no doubt they'll have more broadband, doctors, sell more Big Macs, and have bigger political problems...
  • I think the more important aspect of there being more Chinese with broadband than Americans has a lot less to do with what Chinese citizens can find on Google. Broadband is a catalyst for business and information services. It's even a catalyst for change in culture. Look at the other asian countries that have spent millions on broadband spending. If South Korean teens consider online gaming to be as everyday as more 'conventional' sports like soccer, how much will making computers and the internet a common

If a camel is a horse designed by a committee, then a consensus forecast is a camel's behind. -- Edgar R. Fiedler