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China already leads the world in the number of Internet users as well as Internet usage, with over 800,000 new Internet users coming online every week. You'd think that a country with so much Internet usage would have a big effect on the web. Well, they do, but for US users, we don't often notice their presence unless we go searching for it. Here's what's out there on the Chinese information superhighway:

Portals

Just like other countries, Chinese users tend to use portals to find what they're looking for. Yahoo's Chinese portal is rated as the 6th most popular Chinese site. The #1 site for Chinese users is a portal called Baidu.com, a Chinese language search engine that also offers multimedia content to its users. Next on the list is QQ.com, a portal similar to Yahoo with a popular free email service attached. Sina.com.cn is next on the list, then we have Sohu.com and 163.com. Each portal has a similar setup to traditional portals like Yahoo and MSN, where updated news is offered, plus stock information and tickers, email services, entertainment information, shopping, music, communities and message boards as well as the usual serving of ads, including ads for the Chinese version of eBay. Chinese versions of Yahoo, Google and MSN are also very popular.

Alternative search portals are the meta search engines within China such as Juxit.com which an english/chinese meta search, which ranks results from Google, Yahoo, Baidu and Sogou. Bbmau.com another meta search and baigoogledu.com which shows results from both Google and Yahoo.

Chinese Newspapers Online

As expected with such a huge country, there are many Chinese newspapers with online versions. These include Beijing Daily, Beijing News, China Daily, China News Digest, Fa Zhi Ri Bao, Guangming Daily, Guangzhou Morning Post, Hua Sheng Bao, Hua Xia Wen Zhai, Jie Fang Jun Bao, Jinan Times, Nong Min Ri Bao, Qingdao News, Ren Min Ri Bao, Shanghai Daily, Shanghai Star, Xinhua, Xin Min Evening, Yangtse Evening Post, Yun Nan Daily as well as the communist newspaper, the People's Daily, which publishes selected or censored news.

English Language Chinese Newspapers

There are some English language Chinese newspaper sites out there as well. These include China Daily, China Online, Inside China Today, Shanghai Daily and the South China Morning Post.

Social Networking & Communities

Like every other country, China has their own versions of popular US based community websites. For instance, a site called 51.com is considered the Chinese version of Myspace, where users can sign up and fill out their profile, keep a diary, upload photos and connect to people they already know or meet new people. Another is called Bala, which is a more music based community where users can buy, download and listen to an extensive collection of music, video and podcasts. The service also matches users by their musical tastes.

Other Popular Chinese Websites

9you is a popular multimedia and gaming website for Chinese users. ChinatownConnection.com is a great Chinatown portal site. Another interesting and popular site is Readnovel.com, a site where you can read books and literature. 56.com and 5show.com are very much like a Chinese version of Youtube. Mobile phone related sites are also popular including those that offer ringtones and mobile phone related downloads and services. Chinese webmasters even have their own community at Chinaz.com.

Just like many other countries in the world, China offers a huge amount of online content and these sites are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Chinese web.

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