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The end of 2008 finds China in the leading position of the
Web surfing, with 298 million Internet users (22.6% of its population) and with
a 41.9 percent growth compared to previous year, according to the 23rd
Statistical Survey Report on Internet Development in China (document in
Chinese) released by China Internet Network Information Center mid-January.
The main IT&C emerging market in Asia, China also saw
a boost in the mobile phone Internet usage, the figures simply doubling in the
last year up to 117.6 million users. With a blogging community that reached 162
million members and 234 million Web news readers at the end of 2008, there is
no wonder that 39.5% of Internet users rely on the mobile phone for Web
surfing, which becomes more and more popular among students. Actually, 43.5
percents of them use cell phones for checking e-mail, reading news and feeding
blogs, as well as for multimedia content download.
The decision the authorities took in 2009 regarding the
deployment of 3G services could increase even more the attractivity of
mobile Internet in the following two years. China’s major three telecom
operators (that counted around 634 million subscribers in November 2008) are
expected to invest
around 400 billion Yuan ($ 58.5 billion) on 3G networks over the next three
In spite of the global economic turmoil, Beijing authorities anticipate for the
following twelve months only a direct investment
of at least $ 29 billion in the infrastructure that should support
different standards, such as TD-SCDMA – China Mobile, WCDMA – China Unicom and
CDMA 2000 – China Telecom.
recent analysis for the current trimester points out, although China
experiences a sudden deceleration in economic activity and a slowdown in
economic growth, at present it find itself in a good position to self-finance
any measures aimed at restoring economic development. The massive migration of
people from rural to urban areas that has started few years ago is slowing
down, mostly because of the unattractive forecast of factories and business
closing down within major metropolitan areas. This might be one of the reasons
behind the remarkable 60.8% increase of the Internet surfers’ amount in the
rural regions, which exceeded 84 million users and experienced a faster growth
rate than the urban Web (35.6%) at the end of 2008.
Subsequently, mobile Internet usage could also see next year
an even more significant increase and the actual mobile Web growth of 113% at
the end of 2008 might easily be surpassed.
Still, chances are that the successful mobile Web usage hike
to be shadowed by a menace lurking in the dark – mobile malware proliferation.
The advent of 3G services means also the wide introduction and extensive usage
of the smart phones and other intelligent high-end devices with permanent
Internet access. An access that will focus mainly on Web surfing, downloads, on-line
news, blogs’ feeding, as well as on-line games.
As we already showed in our H2
2008 E-Threats Landscape Report, 2009 is already expected to be one of the
most productive years in terms of mobile e-threats. Most likely, the malware
creators will no longer limit to the various mobile OS flavors’ exploitation,
but will make the decisive step towards flaws and breaches in the third-party
applications and plug-ins that cell phones embed for running specific
If we also consider the fact that in the last six months of
2008, the number of new infections among systems in China augmented 545.30% compared to
the first semester of the same year, should the perspective darken even more?
Probably it will, unless the rapid development of the new
technologies is not accompanied by an intelligent approach from the security
industry and mobile users in terms of defending data and devices. Simply because
surfing faster and surfing mobile does not necessarily mean surfing safer.