Reuters story in News.com says
The number of Web users in China, the world’s second-largest Internet market, grew by 18 percent in 2005 to 111 million, the Economic Daily reported Wednesday.
I wonder what is the number in India, Brazil, and similar countries where the primary language is not English. Considering the rate of growth of Internet users combined with inexpensive computers being marketed by companies like Novatium, the need for technology to develop content in local languages by masses is becoming more needed. The early adopters in all these countries are usually well-educated and wel-to-do people who also are English speakers. To cross the chasm it is essential that Folk Computing technology be developed.
Something interesting along those lines is the number of mobile phone users. In china for example, there are 363 million mobile phone users compared to around 100 million internet users (Morgan Stanley, 2005). According to this report, this is actually a trend that covers Europe, Japan, and South Korea as well (they all have more mobile phone users than internet users). It would be interesting to know these statistics for the developing countries as well. It can have many implications for future technologies.
I know someone who recently increased the sales he was making for an internet product by advertising to Chinese regions.
These customers people from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong who spoke English.
Perhaps more will follow…