Document Type



With the development of information and communications technology (ICTs), Internet has been one of the major driving forces of the new economy. Nevertheless, access to the new technology remains extremely unequally distributed across and within societies, and there have a good deal of popular discussions about this “digital divide” in academia and business communities of every society. This study provides empirical evidence on China’s Internet development and diffusion in recent years. Findings show that there is a clear digital divide among the nation’s three economic zones, and while the growth rate for new Internet users is accelerating and the infrastructure of network is improving, the digital divide is growing narrower. In addition, by undertaking a set of regression analysis, the paper also finds that income and education play a critical role in shaping the divide. Based on the result, the paper offers some related policy suggestions to promote a wider diffusion of internet in poorer regions.