Report: China's web industry plugs into social networking

10:47, July 08, 2010      

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Social networking has become a central focus of China's Internet development in 2009, and instant messaging has turned into a "sub-communication" platform that has broken with the traditional way of communicating, according to a report released by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).

The "Report on the Development of China's New Media 2010" says that a number of Web apps became the major channels for social communication.

"Users of social networks boomed in 2009, attracting many business giants," the report read.

Despite the prosperity in this field, the report also describes public doubt about these sites' viral marketing, privacy problems as well as threats to political, military and commercial secrets.

"Some Web sites including Facebook, which are utilized by intelligence agencies in the Western countries, caused people to fear their specific political functions," says the report.

It warns that business institutions are able to collect users' personal information, such as their cell phone numbers, via social Web sites, and to speculate upon information about users' jobs, marriages and consumption habits by analyzing what the users published on the Internet.

The sale of netizens' personal information has become a significant source of social Web sites' profits, according to the report.

By People's Daily Online

(Editor:祁澍文)

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