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IB Geography: Changing space - the shrinking world: Internet growth - China & UK

A guide to resources on the shrinking world for your IB geography course, compiled by your librarians.

Internet Statistics 2013 - UK and China

The documents in this box provide statistics of Internet use for both the UK and China.  

The statistics may not be directly comparable, for example the UK statistics cover adults but it is not clear who is covered by the Chinese statistics.  They do, however, give some indication of differences and similarities between the two countries.

  • This slideshow presents 2013 statistics for Internet use in China.  The graph on slide 13, for example, shows that the average weekly time spent online has risen from 18.7 in 2012 to 20.5 in 2013.

Reference: China Internet Watch, 2013. China internet statistics whitepaper. [Online] Available at: http://www.chinainternetwatch.com/whitepaper/china-internet-statistics/

Broadband plans in China and UK

These two videos look at the plans for broadband expansion from 2013 to 2015 in China and the UK respectively.  

Watch the two videos in order to compare and contrast the experiences, issues and aims of the two countries in providing higher broadband coverage, as reported by their local news networks.

This news broadcast explains how China’s broadband strategy aims to speed up the network, lower fees and reach more areas of the country. There is an aim to achieve a minimum of 20% annual growth in the IT sector from 2013 to 2015 with more low income households in remote areas gaining access.

This BBC news broadcast reports that the UK government's plans for 90% of the population to have broadband access by 2015, are running two years behind. The government, however, states that they are not far behind schedule and are expecting 88% coverage by the end of 2015.

References: CCTV News, 2013. 'Broadband China' aims to speed up network. [Video file]. Retrieved from Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_z2dodLqBU

BBC, 2013. UK rural broadband rollout criticised by auditors. [Video file]. Retrieved from Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAh7Ny777lg

Behind the firewall in China

This interesting TED Ed presenter discusses the Internet firewall that surrounds China effectively creating two internets; The Internet and the Chinanet.

He also talks about the Chinese versions of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, the 300 million microbloggers that exist in China and the implications of Chinanet.

Reference: Anti, M., 2013. Behind the Great Firewall of China - Michael Anti. [Video file]. TED-Ed Available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5t05I2DupoM

What do you think?

Should China have an Internet that is seperate from the rest of the world's Internet?

Behind the firewall in China
Yes, if the Chinese government wants to have a seperate Internet, that's fine: 1 votes (50%)
No, China's Internet should be linked to the rest of the world: 0 votes (0%)
I'm not sure, it's a complex issue: 1 votes (50%)
Total Votes: 2

In your text books...

Useful documents and articles

This document, from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), provides an interesting overview of the growth in ICT uptake.  

The graph on page 5 illustrates the differences in broadband speeds in countries around the world, including China and the UK.

Reference: International Telecommunications Union, 2013. The world in 2013: ICT facts and figures. Retrieved from International Telecommunications Union: http://www.itu.int/

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