Internet portals


Internet portals
Official Internet user surveys have consistently shown that the primary use of the Internet in China is to search for information. Chinese Internet portals therefore have a central position in Chinese Internet use. Chinese portals, rather than foreign ones (including Chinese language versions of foreign portals), are the most popular offering email, chatrooms, mobile phone short messaging services, newsgroups, notice boards and Internet shopping in addition to the standard news, information and search engine facilities.
The most well-known national portals are Nasdaq-listed Sina.com, Sohu.com and Netease (163.net). Although there are government owned news portals such as Xinhuanet.com, and People. com.cn (the site of the People’s Daily newspaper), many portals such as Sina.com and Sohu.com are private or cooperative companies. However, there are also hundreds of other private and government-backed smaller portals and portal-style news websites, many aiming at local or regionally specific audiences.
Many news organizations such as newspapers, radio and television stations, which initially launched their own websites in the late 1990s, found them a significant drain on resources. As a result, many joined together to run combined portal-style news websites, such as Beijing’s Dragon News Network run jointly by six Beijing newspapers as well as radio and television stations in the capital.
Initially, Chinese portals existed in certain regulatory grey areas, as private companies have been traditionally banned from news provision and for a short while portals supplied their own news and even provided links to foreign news websites. However, in November 2000 the government required portals to source their news only from officially authorized sources such as the Xinhua News Agency.
Portals have relied heavily on advertising revenue for their income but following a sharp downturn in the early 2000s, portals have sought alternative forms of funding, such as Internet shopping, commercial e-business solutions and pay email services.
KEVIN LATHAM

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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