BUSINESS

Speed of China’s online growth overwhelming government watchdogs

TAGs: China, hackers, mobile phones

Speed-China-Online-GrowthWrap your head around these numbers: The number of internet users in China increased by 36 million in just the first six months of 2010, bringing the total number of online Chinese to 420M. About 277M of these access the internet via their mobile phones.

Of course, keeping tabs on all these new users is a pretty daunting task. So daunting, perhaps, that it’s preventing government watchdogs from watching out over what’s taking place on their own sites. Some 3M gov.cn websites are believed to contain hidden links to “pornographic, gambling and fraudulent items and political content.”

By way of example, a prominent university website was found to contain a hidden link that allowed people to bet on horse races at the Hong Kong Jockey Club. The hackers who plant these hidden links are known to sell ‘access rights’ to government servers for as little as 50 yuan, counting on selling ‘tens of thousands’ of such rights. With 420M potential customers, that still leaves a lot of slack left in the supply chain.

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