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Internet to Contribute More to China's Transformation

    The Internet looks set to contribute significantly to China's transformation in the years after the country joins the World Trade Organization (WTO), analysts say, according to today's China Daily.

   US futurist Alvin Toffler said yesterday at a broadband network forum held by China Netcom Corporation Ltd (CNC): "We have learned gigantic negative lessons from the collapse of the Internet bubble and now it will come back in different and mixed forms."

   He pointed out that China will be under great pressure from economic transformations after its WTO entry and the migration of rural populations to urban areas will be one of the biggest challenges for the Chinese Government.

   China should adopt more aggressive, broadband-based Internet technologies to educate its rural people so as to enable them to cope with the information age, rather than all going to manufacturing sectors, the US futurist urged.

   The broadband network can be used to improve and accelerate education in poor regions in China.

   "I believe laying an excessive capacity of network under ground will be a wise act rather than over-construction," Toffler said.

   Zhou Qiren, a senior economist in Peking University, also said since many advanced countries were building their broadband networks, China will be isolated from them if it failed to keep pace.

   Zhou also pointed out that China was at a turning point and changing from a supply economy to a demand economy and applications based on the broadband network will be a good way to stimulate people's consumption.

   CNC, one of the biggest broadband network owners with 12,000-kilometre-long networks, has also vowed to better develop its infrastructures to meet increasing demands from subscribers.

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