Internet Resources--Bibliography: Paper
East Asian Library, University of Kansas
Development of Internet in Mainland China
Author: Zhu Qiang
Deputy Director & Associate Professor
Peking University Library
Center for East Asian & Pacific Studies
CALA 1995 Annual Conference
June 23 - 27, 1995
Latest Development of Internet in Mainland China
Information super highway is regarded as the unique acceleration for the
development of the world in 21st century. And the Internet is considered
"backbone" or "pillar" of the emerging global information
highway. Along with
the continued growth of economy and open to the outside, the demand for
speed and multi function communication has become more and more strong,
the Chinese government has paid much attention to the construction of
information infrastructure. Telephone lines increased over 10 million
in past a
few years. DDN was opened in 26 provincial capitals and is expanding to
large and middle cities. In coast zone, such as Jiangsu, Fujian and Guangdong,
it has reached every cities. An fibreoptic cable network is near completion.
Satellite and microwave networks are extending to cover all the country,
The tremendous progress of telecommunication in recent years provides
for the development of Internet in mainland China.
During past twelve months (May 1994 - May 1995), an Internet heat has
booming in China that more and more computers have been connecting to
Internet, more and more services or applications have been adding to local
networks, and more and more people are getting access to Internet. One
diplomat in Beijing is amazed at the Internet's penetration. "lately
it's as if
every other Chinese I meet has got an Internet address on his business
he said. (Source: China opens to Internet. CINET-L News letter, No. 41,
As a "netter" coming from China, I have been watching what is
going on in this
field during my studying in US. It is exciting to see the fast changes.
feel honorable being invited here to do some introduction to the current
situation of China's Internet and have an outlook to the future development.
1. Internet Links
The first direct link from mainland China to the Internet was established
1993 in the Institute of High Energy Physics, Chinese Academy of Science
(IHEP). Through a 64K bps leased line from AT&T, IHEP connected with
(Stanford Linear Accelerator Center) for high energy physics international
collaboration, while providing email accounts for scientists of NSFC (National
Science Foundation of China).
In March 1994, IHEP was allowed to formally link with Internet, Became
operations of TCP/IP. Then in July, it changed satellite link to submarine
through KEK (National Laboratory for High Energy Physics in Tsukuba, Japan)
NCFC (National Computing & Networking Facilities of China), started
in 1989, is
the first high speed network project which was funded by the grant from
Planning Commission and Worldbank loan. Centered in CAS (Chinese Academy
Science), the original purpose of NCFC was to connect three campus networks
(CASnet, PUnet and TUnet), which are closely located in Zhongguancun area,
Beijing, and to share their computing facilities in a high speed network
environment. While the project was going on, connecting it to Internet
strong demand. So CAS began to work for the connection with Internet as
the NCFC backbone was completed in 1993.
In May 1994, a 64K bps satellite link, via Sprint international router,
NFSNET, was opened. NCFC also got the country-level domain name as ".CN".
full Internet access became available to the users of CASnet, PUnet and
BUCT (Beijing University of Chemical Technology) is the top one among
universities which belong to the Ministry of Chemical Industry. It became
third institution that has full Internet connectivity in Mainland China.
With the help of experts as well as funds from Tokyo Institute of Technology
Japan, BUCT established its campus network and joined the Internet family
September 20, 1994 via BTA (Beijing Telecommunication Administration),
MCI 64K bps satellite line, by way of CAREN (Consortium of Asian Research
Education Network) and JVNCnet (John Von Neumann Center Network), then
CERNET (China Education and Research Network) was planned in December
was put into practice in July 1994. The project is part of "Project
is funded by the Chinese government and directly managed by State Education
CERNET is centered in Tsinghua University, Beijing. Its backbone consists
key universities (see Table 1) which are now connected to each other via
CHINAPAC (X.25). Its link to Internet was primarily through NCFC (Tsinghua
University and Peking University are members of NCFC), and switched to
128K bps line in May 1995. Other two links respectively in Nanjing and
Guangzhou (to Hong Kong) will also be opened this year. The latest news
reported that Jilin University of Technology (in Changchun) has been connected
to Northeastern University (in Shenyang), the Northeastern Regional Center.
NJNET (Nanjing International Internet), put on the agenda as a key project
year for the city's science and technology achievements, was opened April
Nanjing is the first city connected to Internet in mainland China. NJNET
providing email service in its first project term. The second term will
complete by the end of June, then NJNET will provide comprehensive information
services. But the route and bps rate of the line are not reported.
DDN is now still in construction. As a nation-wide digital data transmission
network, it is run by MPT (Ministry of Post and Telecommunication) and
become the backbone of China information highway. Last year, MPT signed
contract with Sprint to set up two links with Internet, one is in Beijing,
other is in Shanghai which have been opened earlier this month.
In April 27, 1995, MPT announced the exhibiting and introducing China's
services to the public will be the major activity organized by the ministry
mark the World Telecommunication Day on May 17. The network is currently
undergoing testing and will open soon to provide users with all the Internet
Since it is the first commercial access to the global Internet, although
official from the bureau said the services would be "a lot cheaper"
Chinapac, probably most of its users will be enterprises and companies.
2. Nation-wide Networks
There are many computer networks in mainland China now. But I can see
nation-wide networks connected to Internet. And it is interesting to see
tend to have different emphasis.
ChinaNet, which means "China Internet" according to Prof. Hualin
Director of Computer Network Center of NCFC, is based on NCFC backbone.
the completion of NCFC, further work have been done or are ongoing. They
divided to two aspects:
- Shaping the Nation-wide Network
>From the NCFC backbone, Some dedicated lines have been leased to regional
networks of CAS branches and departmental networks of the government,
shape of a nation-wide network. Following is the list of networks which
linked to NCFC:
CASnet (Chinese Academy of Science Network)
PUnet (Peking University Network)
TUnet (Tsinghua University Network)
CAnet (Chinese Academic Network)
CRNet (China Research Network)
IHEPnet (Institute of High Energy Physics of CAS)
SSTC (State Science and Technology Commission network)
CERNet (Chinese Ecosystem Research Network)
USTCnet (Univ. of Sci. & Tech. of China campus network)
NFCwan (National Flood Control wide area network)
MEFnet (China National Research Center for Marine
BSTISnet (Beijing Science & Technology Information Society)
IMnet (Institute of Microbiology of CAS)
Shanghai Regional Network
Wuhan Regional Network
(For detailed information about the network, such as its structure, future
etc., please refer to reference 2 and 3, or point your web browser to
- Applications on the Network
Funded by NSFC, four network application projects are ongoing:
Super-computing sharing, undertaken by CAS
Chinese email and multi-media software, undertaken by TU
Course-ware sharing, undertaken by PU
APTLIN (Academy of Science, Peking University and Tsinghua University
Library & Information Network), undertaken by the three libraries
Although CERNET started no more than one year ago, much progress has been
gained. Now CERNET consists of a national network center, eight regional
network centers and a few campus networks (see Table 1.)
Table 1. CERNET Centers
Covering Location University Name
_______ _______ _____________
National Beijing Tsinghua University
Regional Beijing Peking University
Beijing University of Post
Regional Chengdu University of Electronic
Science & Technology
Regional Guangzhou South China University of Tech.
Regional Wuhan Huazhong University of Tech.
Regional Shanghai Shanghai Jiaotong University
Regional Xi'an Xi'an Jiaotong University
Regional Nanjing Southeastern University
Regional Shenyang Northeastern University
As mentioned earlier, a direct Internet link has been set up. Some network
services have been provided. Due to the huge population and the large
universities, institutes, schools and other education and research entities
China, it will become a large scale network, and will dramatically increase
number of users in the global Internet community for it will mainly link
campus networks. (see Table 2.)
Table 2. The Distribution of Universities and Students
Region Provinces to be covered Universities Students
______ ___________________ __________ _______
Beijing Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, 191 372,212
(BJ) Shanxi, Inner Mongolia
Shanghai Shanghai, Zhejiang, Fujian, 153 305,646
Nanjing Jiangsu, Anhui, Shandong 156 325,629
Xi'an Shannxi, Qinghai, Gansu, 100 180,245
(XA) Ningxia, Xinjiang
Guangzhou Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan 74 145,255
Wuhan Hubei, Hunan, Henan 156 312,063
Chengdu Sichuan, Yunnan, Guizhou, 113 219,664
Shenyang Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang 147 287,751
It can be predicted that CERNET will greatly improve the education and
infrastructure in China and train network experts as well as experienced
network end users. It will help to boost China's education, research and
economic development in the coming century. (For detailed information
CERNET, please refer to reference 1 and 6, or point your web browser to
It is believed that China Internet is just the DDN which still under
construction. The name of China Internet has not been proved as an official
name, but it probably will be, according to some news reports.
China Internet as a commercial network run by MPT, links with more than
cities and will cover all of the country. The recently launched "Golden
Enterprises Project", which is expected to link the country's 360,000
state-owned industrial enterprises and 8.6 million other industrial and
commercial firms with the government offices, will certainly be going
(From the homepage just opened by BTA, the name of the network run by
3. Internet Services
Within a very short period, the Internet sites in mainland China have
various services to users.
Email is the most popular service every site or campus network provides.
some sites also provide dial-up and UUCP to remote users for email service.
According to some reports, IHEP has more than 500 users while CNC has
300 users and CERNET has about 100 users outside.
The amount of users is very small, due to the comparatively high fees.
In CNC of
CAS, for example, the charge for an individule email account is: registering
fee 1100 Yuan; then if dialing to the server as term user, 25 Yuan per
Besides, users still have to pay their local or long distance telephone
So I believe most users are using their research grants to pay for the
costs. (For inside users now email is free.)
Following is a list of institutions to which IHEP using UUCP to provide
Fudan University (Shanghai) fudan.ihep.ac.cn
Zhejiang University (Hangzhou) zunet.ihep.ac.cn
Chinese Academy of Engineering
Physics (Beijing) caepsc.ihep.ac.cn
Jilin University (Changchun) jilin.ihep.ac.cn
Institute of Botany (Beijing) botany.ihep.ac.cn
Beijing Normal University bnu.ihep.ac.cn
Shanxi University (Taiyuan) shanxi.ihep.ac.cn
Nanjing University njnet.ihep.ac.cn
Shandong University (jinan) shandong.ihep.ac.cn
Institute of Environment
Development (Beijing) ieddg5.ihep.ac.cn
Harbin Institute of Technology hitnet.ihep.ac.cn
(People are interested in reaching specific persons at these institutions
email may make inquiries to email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org,
For those who want to open an email account in mainland China, here is
you can contact to:
Computer Site Person to be Contacted Phone or Email
___________ __________________ ____________
CNC Ms. Xiqiong Zhang email@example.com
IHEP Ms. Xiao-guang Wang 86-10-255-4324
or Ms. Ge-tao Li 86-10-256-1604
SICCUIN Ms. Huang 86-10-809-3033
FUDAN Mr. Liangyao Chen 86-21-534-7577
DDN officials in the Bureau 86-10-201-2994
CEIC no specific person 86-10-822-1972
CHINAPAC no specific person 86-10-601-0861
Telnet is also popularily used on the networks. For example, I can telnet
UIUC to my account in Peking University Library to see email messages
or to do
other things. But if you don't have an account on the remote computer,
the only thing you can do is to search the OPAC of their library.
Presently there are only three OPAC systems on Internet in mainland China,
are partly achievement of NCFC application project (APTLIN):
The Library of Chinese Academy of Science
login: for Chinese: opac for English: guest
password: opac hello01
Peking University Library (184.108.40.206)
login: pulros (no password needed)
Tsinghua University Library (220.127.116.11)
login: public (no password needed)
CAS declared that 19 scientific databases will be connected to Internet
1995, but up to now, no one can be access.
Several sites (such as IHEP, CNC, CERNET, Punet and BUCTnet) now provide
service, users can open their public directory by anonymous login and
It seems to me that only CNC and CERNET provide archie service. And they
very little resources, but you can search resources outside China.
Usenet and Mailing List
IHEP provides APS-CPS joint netnews service. The "apscps" newsgroups
mirrored at SLAC and IHEP by exchanging news postings.
CNC also provides usenet service by downloading the netnews from US counterpart.
CERNET just opened its news service at URL: News//news.cernet.edu.cn.
provides mailing list service and has set up a public discussion newsgroup
named iic-l (Internet In China) concerning the construction of CERNET
Internet-related projects inside China. IIC-L can be subscribed by sending
email to LISTSERV@cernet.edu.cn. The latest statistics show that there
more than 100 subscribers at the moment, and most of them are from overseas.
A few sites provide gopher service. They are CNC, CERNIC, IHEP, PUnet.
archie, the resources are very little.
As I know, only CNC and CERNIC provide whois service. And according to
netters who tried whois in CNC, it usually doesn't work. I tried whois
CERNIC, there are so little data that I can only search top level domains
Perhaps the www service is most colorful now in mainland China. Here is
unofficial www server list:
Just in the earlier of June, other two web servers was opened respectively
Beijing and Shanghai, here are their URL:
The homepages they provide can be divided into three categories:
Homepage of Networks
Homepage of Institutions (or Projects)
Most of the homepages have a very little information, growth slowly and
untimely, reflecting lack of experienced pagemakers. Besides, to view
homepages, you have to be patient because the speed of file transferring
very slow. For example, once I spent 13 minutes to get a picture of Ping
Girl from Tianjin during the 43rd World Table Tennis Championships.
IHEP does better by setting up a mirror server in University of Tennessee,
Knoxvill in US.
China's Scholars Abroad Chinese Magazine (chisa-cm) might be the first
periodical distributed via Internet in mainland China. Starting from January
12, 1995, its electronic edition issues on a weekly base. Anyone connected
Internet can obtain chisa-cm by using email (firstname.lastname@example.org), ftp
(ftp://chisa.edu.cn/pub/chisa-cm/1995), gopher (gopher://gopher.chisa.edu.cn),
There is an old Chinese saying that "To do anything, it is difficult
biginning." We can say reasonably that the development of Internet
China has had a very good beginning although obviously much work remain
done. We can also predict reasonably that much progress will be achieved
1. Coordinating of the Internet Development
A governmental office named State Information Coordinative Committee has
set up encounter to the repetition of network construction and lack of
planning. There are indications that more and more cooperations and
coordinations will be taken by the networks so that a more higher speed
can be established and resources can be shared more effectively.
2. Expansion of the networks
The three nation-wide networks will all get expanded.
ChinaNet will links more departmental and CAS branch regional networks.
planning to upgrade the 64K bps link to higher link.
CERNET will has 100 universities connected at the end of 1996. Eight regional
networks will also take shape. More scholars can have access to Internet.
China Internet perhaps will be the fastest in growth, for national Ninth
Five-year Plan made priority to establish eight information projects:
* Nation-wide public economic information processing network (Goldern
* Foreign trade information sources network (Goldern Customs Project)
* Electronic monetary and mordern payment system (Goldern Card Project)
* Electronic taxation system (Goldern Taxation Project)
* Industrial production and circulation information network (Goldern Enterprises
* Agricultural comprehensive management and service information system
* Chinese education and scientific research computer network and human
project (Goldern Intellectual Project)
* National economic micro-policy making support system (Goldern Policy
Most of the above projects will use China Internet as communication carrier.
3. Enriching of Service & Application
Every sites will enrich their services and resources.
As to ChinaNet, four application projects funded by NSFC should be completed
with two years. Some other services such as phone book, weather forecast,
database retrieval, etc., hope will be added to the network.
For CERNET, besides the services in terms of networking, an information
and service system, named ALINet (Academic Library & Information Network)
be put into practice. The project is also part of "Project 211"
and a long term
project. It will greatly strengthen Chinese academic information resources
For China Internet, the economic information services in terms of business
industry will certainly be emphasized. Various services such as house-merchant,
travel information, city information, etc. may be provided since there
a huge market.
4. Training of Netters
"Netter" is an informal terminology refers to the network users
experts and new hands. Some experts have called attention to train many
experienced net users. Some seminars and training program have also been
in Beijing and other cities during last year. Along with the expansion
networks, more attention will be paid to netters' training. And a big
as well as a good opportunity will open to computer centers,
library & information schools, academic libraries and other educational
institutions. (One of my colleagues in Beijing just registered in a HTML
training course given by a California company via Internet.)
To end my presentation, here I'd like to cite some words said by Reed
Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, and Larry Irving, Assistant
Secretary of Commerce in their messages sent to the American commerce
delegation in Beijing last August.
"The opportunity for promoting global understanding and economic
through modern communications is boundless. Lifelong learning, health
manufacturing, the delivery of government services, and many other applications
are limited only by our imagination," Hundt said.
"I believe that today's Internet is a 'working prototype' for tomorrow's
information infrastructure. The progress to date has been amazing, not
because of the Internet's rapid growth, but because of the way in which
changing the way we work, live, learn, and communication with one another,"
Irving said.(source: US Sprint Telephone Company News Release, Beijing,
What they said are true. I could also say that the development of Internet
mainland China will greatly change the way the Chinese people work, live,
learn, and communication with one another. We'll see that.
Quotations and data used in this article are mainly from CINET-L Newsletter
No.18 - No.44 (May 15, 1994 - June 2, 1995). CINET-L (China's InterNET
Technical Forum) is a non-public discussion list, which is technically
sponsored by China News Digest and is published by volunteers in
To join the forum, send a mail to LISTSERV@TAMVM1.TAMU.EDU with first
the mail body as follows:
SUB ChinaNet Your_First_Name Last_Name
Back issues of CINET-L Newsletter are available via anonymous ftp from
(IP:18.104.22.168),directory:/pub/cinet,or via WWW
However, several paticular articles should be indicated to show my respect
thanks to the authors:
1. Dr. Xing Li & Prof. Jianping Wu: Introduction to China Education
Research Network. CINET-L Newsletter, No.29, Oct. 17, 1994
2. Prof. Hualin Qian: Introduction to the NCFC Backbone. CINET-L News
No. 30, Oct. 30, 1994
3. Prof. Hualin Qian: CNC, CAS Internet Development Activities Summary.
Newsletter, No. 31, Nov. 15, 1994
4. Dr. Rongsheng Xu: Outline of Talk in Paris for UNESCO WG2 Meeting.
Newsletter, No. 37, Feb. 15, 1995
5. Odd de Presno: Focus on China. The Online World Monitor Newsletter,
Bulletin 1/1995. URL: http://login.eunet.no/~presno/index.html
6. Dr. Xing Li et al: Connecting China Education Community to the Global
Internet - The China Education and Research Network Project. URL: