Ciolek, T.M. 2002. Electronic Environments of Eastern Asia: A Background Survey. Asian Studies Review, 26(2):233-260.
www.ciolek.com/PAPERS/e-environments2002.html

Electronic Environments of Eastern Asia: A Background Survey

by
Dr T. Matthew Ciolek,
Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies,
Australian National University, Canberra ACT 0200, Australia
tmciolek@coombs.anu.edu.au

in, "Asian Studies Review" 26(2):233-260,
(special issue on "Electronic Identities in Eastern Asia"),
Asian Studies Association of Australia.

Document created: 17 Dec 2001. Last revised: 17 Dec 2001.

Introduction

This work summarises current statistical information about Asia's major electronic resources such as radio, TV, telephones, computers and the Internet. The paper places particular emphasis on the latest developments in Eastern Asia, that is in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand. It looks at data from the last five or six years and, where possible, from the last 12 months, i.e. from the period between July 2000 and July 2001. In short, the paper does not examine or further any particular theory. Instead, it presents key background data about the everyday electronic contexts within which individual and group electronic behaviours are enacted. The survey focuses on the Internet, as well as its users and their online behaviours. In addition, statistics related to other communication and broadcasting technologies are also discussed, albeit summarily.

The inspected data reveal the operation of three simultaneous large-scale patterns. Firstly, there is the spectacular growth in the sheer number of networked computers used by the studied populations. For example, during the last six years the number of hosts has grown about twenty-fold in Hong Kong and South Korea, and between 120-fold to 150-fold in China and Indonesia. The second important pattern is the uneven spatial distribution of these electronic tools. The inequalities seem to be fractal in their nature: polarisation of the electronic 'haves' and 'have-nots' tends to arise at all geographic scales, regardless how global or local they are. Finally, very strong geographic, and possibly cultural differences arise in the actual uses of IT technology. The intensity with which computers are used, both mainframes and PCs, tends to energetically vary from one country to another. Similarly, hypertext connections established in different blocks of countries can be seen to address decidedly dissimilar segments of global cyberspace.

The above patterns in the background data are discussed in three stages. The first of them, "Eastern Asia and the Internet", places the continent of Asia in the wider global context, and Eastern Asia in the context of the Asian continent. The section discusses the number of networked computers and online users world-wide, as well as in the ten abovementioned Eastern Asian countries. The second part is called "Electronic environments of Eastern Asia." It describes the region in the late 1990s. It does so in terms of a series of statistics for the individual countries' Gross Domestic Product, population, telephones (phone lines and mobiles), networked and personal computers, online users, Web links, Internet Service Providers, radio stations, television stations, as well as radio sets and TV sets. Finally, the third part, "Eastern Asian cyberspace", looks at the countries of the region in terms of their overall production of WWW hypertext links. It also describes the intra- and extra-regional foci of these links, as well as their densities. The third section attempts to determine whether the various technologies which enable online and offline electronic behaviours constitute passive containers for such behaviours, a neutral backdrop, or whether they form a setting which shapes the transactions it accommodates.

Terminology and Data

Terminology

This paper uses a number of schematic, shorthand terms. These are: 'Net', 'cyberspace', 'hosts', 'personal computers', 'subscribers', 'resources', 'links' and 'sites.' Firstly, there is the 'Net' and 'cyberspace' ; both are an integral part of the Internet, the global network of digital networks. In everyday usage the distinction between the two is frequently blurred. However, in this study the word Net exclusively means the world of networked hardware. It applies to the realm of cables, communication links and computer hardware. At the same time, the word cyberspace denotes the less tangible world of free-forming and free-flowing networked information. Secondly, 'hosts' will be used as a name for networked (i.e. Internet connected and enabled) computers. These computers form nodes of the Net and can act as fully fledged communication, storage, and data-serving devices. By contrast, 'personal computers' (PCs) will be a term for all those machines which do not have such capacity. Many of them can access the Internet through a telephone dial-up or a permanent cable link, but they do so only to access digital information, and not to manage its traffic. Another useful term is 'subscribers. ' They are also known as online users, the online population, Netizens and Internauts. This term refers to that segment of general population who has access to the Internet. The actual proportion varies from country to country and includes users who access the Internet at least several times a day as well as those who access it only a few times a year. The term subscribers covers both active developers of the Net and cyberspace as well as mere surfers, lurkers and readers. The term 'resources', also referred to as information facilities, applies to such cyberspace assets as Web sites, gopher sites, databases, mailing lists, chat-rooms, anonymous FTP archives, internet radio and so forth. The word 'links' is a shorthand name for hypertext connections which knit together online resources. Links are navigational devices which enable subscribers to move from one portion of cyberspace to another. Links are also conduits for online data. Since all currently implemented hypertext links are unidirectional, information populating cyberspace necessarily flows from online targets to which the links point, back to WWW browser software which invokes these links. Finally, the term 'sites' is a shorthand for web sites (WWW sites), that is, clusters of documents which use the Web format and constitute sources as well as the targets of links.

There are two other terms which need clarification. Frequent references are made to 'Asia'. By this word I mean an aggregate of 49 countries on the Asian continent, plus the British Indian Ocean Territories (Chagos Archipelago). The area in question is huge. In the west, it includes Turkey, the whole of the Caucasus, and all Middle Eastern countries east of Egypt. In the north, it terminates at the border with Russia. Its eastern and south-eastern limits are set by the Pacific Ocean, and while they include the province of Irian Jaya they exclude Papua New Guinea. The southern border of the so defined Asia ends 10 degrees south of the equator. Another frequently used term is 'Eastern Asia.' Here it refers to the group of ten countries somewhat arbitrarily sampled from two regions: East and South East Asia. The ten countries and territories are, in alphabetic order: China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand.

Data

Reliable information about the Net and cyberspace as a whole, and about the Net and cyberspace in Asia, is patchy and of uneven quality. This is certainly true of English-language materials, which form the bulk of publicly accessible documentation. It is also true of local language publications. Firstly, not all aspects of global and regional networks, as well as of their uses and users, are well documented. For example, far more has been written about the WWW and email than about other techniques for publishing and communication on the Internet. Secondly, not all chronological periods are systematically covered. Thirdly, there are frequent and unexpected gaps in the available documentation, resulting in missing values for a given subject or a given geographic region. Nevertheless, on the basis of available materials, both printed and electronic, it is still possible to construct a broad, reasonably cohesive picture of the electronic infrastructure in the ten countries of our interest. To this end, data presented in this paper are extracted from four distinct groups of sources. Note 2.

The second group of data comes from a recent survey of the WWW (Ciolek 2001a). The survey uses a novel technique for measuring the size and internal structure of cyberspace. The technique was developed (Ciolek 2001b) to answer a geo-political question: "who is watching whom in Asian cyberspace?". The survey interrogated contents of the Altavista database (www.altavista.com), one of the leading and most useful search engines. The survey was conducted in July 2001. It collected information on the targets of electronic attention of the 49 Asian countries plus the British owned Indian Ocean Territories (Internet code ".io"). From that large, still unprocessed, set of statistics a smaller set was extracted. This smaller sample contained 18.4 million data points on hypertext connections established by web servers resident in ten Eastern Asian countries. The work of Lawrence and Giles (1999) suggests that in July 2001 Altavista contained information about approximately 10 per cent of the world's publicly accessible Web resources. Therefore, the results of our survey do not pertain to global or Asian cyberspace as such, but rather to the necessarily selective sample as collected by the search engine. Also, it is not known at this stage whether Altavista has bias for or against collecting data from particular machines, networks or countries. Possibly such bias does exist, but its nature, extent and implications cannot, at present, be ascertained.

The third group of data used in this paper is formed by statistical indicators of economic and technological performance of the countries of Asia. They are CIA estimates and summaries (Central Intelligence Agency 2000). Most of these measures are derived from compilations such as the cross-national social, economic or political comparisons produced by the World Bank (nd. a), UN Human Development Report Office (2001), or International Telecommunication Union (2001). The CIA data pertain to the period 1994-2000, and their data collection schedules strongly vary from one subject-matter to another. Note 3.

The fourth, and last group of sources is provided by Nua (2001b). These are rough estimates of the numbers of people online. Since the Nua website reports more than one survey per year per country, the paper uses data only from July 2000 or from the period which is the closest to that date.

These four categories of data are expressed here as a set of tables. These tables provide succinct information on geography, absolute numbers of various electronic infrastructures, their percentages as well as densities per unit of population, and where applicable on correlations between the key variables.

Eastern Asia and the Internet

Global and Asian Net

Table 1 deals with numbers of Internet hosts during the six years from January 1995 to January 2001. The table points to a number of concurrent trends and patterns. Firstly, it shows that in terms of the networked hardware the world continues to be divided most unevenly. Thirty two years into the history of the Internet (it was first established in the US, in October 1969) the two North American countries (i.e. US and Canada) very visibly continue to dominate the field. Although their share of Internet machinery steadily declines, it still manages to remain substantial. North America forms the largest block of hosts. Moreover, it is likely that these identifiably US and Canadian resources are strongly augmented by the ever growing numbers of Internet hardware (from 6 per cent to a hefty 29 per cent) set up by international organizations with ".int", ".org", ".net", and other generic Internet addresses.

Table 1: Networked hosts world-wide 1995-2001
Region Jan 95 % Jan 98 % Jan 01 %
N. America 3,060,111 63% 15,659,035 53% 50,768,750 46%
Europe 1,082,677 22% 5,143,322 17% 14,942,035 14%
Australasia 192,381 4% 834,689 3% 1,974,157 2%
Asia 167,934 3% 1,778,847 6% 7,196,844 7%
Africa 27,339 1% 128,527 <1% 217,655 <1%
C. America & the Caribbean 8,152 <1% 57,077 <1% 615,472 1%
S. America 7,440 <1% 184,917 1% 1,355,277 1%
Pacific 9 <1% 1,757 <1% 28,249 <1%
Transnational (generic)
organisations *
305,781 6% 5,804,102 20% 32,162,213 29%
Unknown 19 <1% 77,338 <1% 313,777 <1%
WORLD Total 4,851,843 100% 29,669,611 100% 109,574,429 100%

* Machines with ".net", ".org" and ".int" addresses, i.e. not identified with any specific country
Source: ISC 2001

Also, Table 1 shows that during the studied period, the Net grew at great speed in all regions of the world. Some of these speeds were very high indeed. For example, the 1998-2001 annual growth rates were about 540 per cent in the Pacific, 360 per cent in Central America and the Caribbean, and 240 per cent in South America. Despite these great electronic strides all three regions represent only a minuscule percentage of the world's Internet machinery. As Table 1 shows, other regions such as Europe and Australasia also grew at exponential rates. Nevertheless, over the last six years their combined share of the world's hardware dropped from 26 per cent to 16 per cent. Set against this backdrop of absolute growth but relative decline, Asia continues to be a remarkable and singular phenomenon. The continent is characterised by a steadily growing share in Internet hardware (1995: 3%, 1998: 6%, 2001: 7%). In terms of absolute numbers, during the last six years Asia moved from about 170,000 to about 7,200,000 hosts! During the same period Asia moved, in relative terms, from the fourth to the third position among the world's regions.

Table 2 partially corroborates this optimistic picture. On the credit side, the figures show that Asia provides a home to the third largest population of subscribers in the world. More than 83 million people from Asia now have access to the Net. It is an impressive figure indeed. It is only 7 per cent less than the equivalent number supported by the more industrialised, more heavily wired, and far more affluent Europe. The number of Asians who make use of the Net testifies to their openness to new technology and the zest with which they embrace its possibilities and opportunities

Table 2: Online users and networked hosts world-wide in the late 2000
Region Subscribers (mln) % Networked
hosts (mln)
Subscribers
/ host
N. America 167.12 43% 50.76 3.3
Europe 111.14 28% 14.94 7.4
Australasia 9.91 3% 1.97 5.0
Japan 27.06 (33%) 4.64 5.8
Taiwan 6.40 (8%) 1.10 5.8
S. Korea 15.30 (18%) 0.40 38.3
Hong Kong 1.85 (2%) 0.23 8.1
Singapore 1.74 (2%) 0.18 9.7
China 16.90 (20%) 0.07 241.4
Malaysia 1.50 (2%) 0.07 22.0
Thailand 1.00 (1%) 0.06 16.6
Indonesia 0.40 (<1%) 0.03 13.3
Philippines 0.50 (1%) 0.02 25.0
Ten Eastern Asian countries 72.7 (87%) (18.6%) 6.8 10.7
Remaining Asian countries 10.36 (13%) (2.6%) 0.39 26.6
Asia * 83.06 (100%) 21% 7.19 11.55
Africa 3.11 1% 0.22 14.1
C. America & the Caribbean 3.23 1% 0.61 5.3
South America 13.22 3% 1.36 9.7
Pacific 0.036 <1% 0.028 1.3
WORLD Total 390.8 ** 100% 109.57 3.56

* includes Turkey
** Nua erroneously reports 407.1 million, although their data collected at countries' level add up only to 390.8 million users
Source: Users data (for Jul-Nov 2000) from Nua 2001a, hosts data (for Jan 2001) from ISC 2001

On the other hand, Table 2 points to Asia's serious set-backs and difficulties. The popular enthusiasm for online information and communication is not adequately matched by the overall volume of installed hosts. Comparisons with other regions of the world are sobering. The table records, for instance, that in the final months of 2000 each of the hosts in North America supported activities of about 3.3 persons. The microscopic and fledgling Net in the Pacific is patronised by a very privileged elite indeed: 1.3 users per networked host. By comparison, the Australian and European situation was less favourable, but still better than that in Asia. Table 2 shows that Asia has an average of about eleven and half persons per each host. Therefore, it resembles more the so-called developing than developed regions of the world.

These are serious concerns. The ratio of subscribers to equipment is highly significant. Such values are not abstract numbers. They are indicative of the creative online potential of users of the Internet. Also, they are indicative of people's exposure to consequences of electronic failures and accidents. It is only natural that with several people making daily demands on a single machine their opportunities for experiments with the content, software and hardware - whether haphazard, playful or informed - are severely limited. Such people cannot too readily pitch their programming skills against new solutions, new operating systems, firewalls, virtual hosting, experimental servers or database engines. In other words, their scope for acting like skilled drivers of the Net and cyberspace is reduced. Instead, their very numbers force them to act like regimented passengers. This is hardly a technical and intellectual environment conducive to the vigorous sprouting of Asia-based Silicon Valleys.

There are other problems as well. In addition to the unfulfilled opportunities for innovative programming and e-publishing there are also considerable threats. With the large ratios of users to a networked machine there is a proportionally higher exposure to a wide range of technical and logistical risks. The figures speak for themselves. In Europe, one computer failure messes up the work of about 7.4 people. It is not the case with Asia. There the number is almost 60 per cent higher. Personal and societal consequences of various slow-downs, shutdowns and malfunctions are bound to have a stronger impact in Asia than in other regions. In the world of the ever-multiplying instances of Net-based viruses, spams, denial-of-service attacks, hactivism and cyber-sabotage (Strobel 2000, Goldberg 2001) Asia's Internet represents a risky place indeed.

Asian and Eastern Asian Net

So far we have discussed Asia, as if it were a monolithic entity. Therefore, it is time that we take a more detailed look. It is time to assess developments in individual regions and countries. Table 2 indicates that there are strong differences based on geography. Firstly, the ten Eastern Asian countries account for 72.7 million subscribers. This number is no less than 87 per cent of Asia's online population, and over 18 per cent of the world's total. The countries of Western, Central and South Asia, as well as the residual parts of the continent, account for about 10.4 million subscribers. This is 13 per cent of Asia and about 3 per cent of the world. In the non-Eastern Asian countries Asian Internauts struggle with the disadvantages of having over 26.6 users for every host. As Table 2 shows, the situation in the ten Eastern Asian countries was more advantageous. In those ten countries the overall ratio was about 10.7 subscribers to every host. Naturally, that average figure aggregates ten very different situations. In fact, the actual country-level values range from low and favourable values from Japan (27 million subscribers, 5.8 people to every host), through Singapore (1.7 million users, 9.7 people per host) and South Korea (15.3 million users, 38.3 people per host) to high and risk-fraught indices from China (16.9 million users, 241.4 people per host).

Secondly, the figures in Table 2, as well as statistics recorded in Table 3, reveal that not all parts of the Asian continent are doing equally well in terms of hardware. Strong differences emerge in the degree to which Internet technology is used in Asia. In fact, it might be justifiably argued that it truly exists in only a handful of countries. On the whole, the networked machines are concentrated most heavily in the urban centres of the Pacific Coast and the Mediterranean. No less then 94 per cent of Asian information technology resides in ten Eastern Asian countries: Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, China, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines. The next four percent (see ISC 2001) was found in two other locations, namely in Israel (1995: 13,251 or 8%, 2001: 180,263 or 2.5%) and Turkey (1995: 2,643 or 1.5% of Asia, 2001: 113,603 or 1.5%). Finally, the residual two percent of Asia's hosts resided in India (1995: 359; 2001: 35,810 or 0.5% of Asia's total), United Arab Emirates (1995: zero; 2001: 34,338), Pakistan (1995: 21; 2001: 6,467), Kuwait (1995: 220; 2001: 3,360) and in the other parts of the Asian continent (ISC 2001).

The picture is clear. In 2001 94 per cent of Asia's Internet hardware and 87 per cent of subscribers originated from ten Eastern Asian countries. The balance, that is 6 per cent of the machinery and 13 per cent of users came from the remaining 40 countries and territories. Whether these proportions will substantially change in the future and whether the well-wired countries will show signs of saturation with Internet hosts, and whether the relatively un-wired countries will stage an effective chase, remains to be seen. As Singapore's experience with human-usable (as opposed to merely machine-usable) phone lines suggests (see Table 5 below), there is no fixed upper limit to the number of electronic devices per unit of population.

Table 3: Number of networked hosts in ten Eastern Asian countries 1995-2001
Country Jan 95 Rank
in
Asia
%
Asia
Jan 98 Rank
in
Asia
%
Asia
Jan 01 Rank
in
Asia
%
Asia
Japan 96,632 1 58% 1,168,956 1 66% 4,640,863 1 64%
Taiwan 14,618 3 9% 176,836 2 10% 1,095,718 2 15%
S. Korea 18,049 2 11% 121,932 3 7% 397,809 3 6%
Hong Kong 12,437 5 7% 66,617 4 4% 228,979 4 3%
Singapore 5,252 6 3% 57,605 6 3% 175,799 6 2%
China 569 10 <1% 16,322 9 1% 70,391 8 1%
Malaysia 1,606 9 1% 32,269 7 2% 68,248 9 1%
Thailand 1,728 8 1% 14,378 10 1% 63,447 10 1%
Indonesia 177 14 <1% 9,603 11 1% 26,727 13 <1%
Philippines 334 12 <1% 4,313 13 <1% 19,448 14 <1%
All ten Eastern Asian countries 151,402 90% 1,668,831 94% 6,787,429 94%
ASIA Total 167,934 100% 1,778,847 100% 7,196,844 100%

Source: ISC 2001

In addition to the differences between the regions there are strong intra-regional differences and divisions. The ten countries of Eastern Asia can be seen to form three distinct technological clubs. The first group, which comprises Japan and Taiwan, in 2001 has monopolised 79 per cent of Asia's hardware, and 41 per cent of Asian subscribers. In that group the numbers of networked hosts run into the millions. The second echelon comprises South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore. In 2001 it housed 11 per cent of Asia's hardware, and 22 per cent of Asian Internauts. In this group the volume of networked hosts runs into the hundreds of thousands. The third group, which include China, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, accounted for 4 per cent of Asia's hardware. In that echelon the numbers of networked hosts run only into the tens of thousands. The third group was also home to 24 per cent of Asia's online population.

The changes over time are also symptomatic. Table 3 shows clearly that the elite networked countries are getting ever stronger. During the six years since 1995 the Eastern Asian hold on the Net has increased from 90 per cent to 94 per cent. Within that region, the 'info-Tigers', that is Japan and Taiwan, increased their share of Asia's hosts from 67 per cent (1995) to 79 per cent (2001). The second echelon, which can be dubbed as the 'info-Falcons', dropped their holdings from the respectful level of 20 per cent in 1995 to 11 per cent in 2001. The third echelon, which can be called 'the info-Sparrows', managed to retain their generally inadequate position. However, it has done so only with great effort. In 1995 they had only 3 per cent of Asia's hosts, and six years later that value was increased to 4 per cent.

All these transformations inevitably mean that with the passage of time the original set of winners keeps on winning, whereas the original set of 'losers' has now an even larger gap to cope with. This also indicates that networked Asia becomes a very un-level playing field, in which only a handful of countries, such as the info-Tigers and info-Falcons are likely to utilise the Internet from a position of strength. But whether they are in fact taking full advantage of their superior technological position is unclear. There is a body of data, which indicates that this technological potential is not actualised as readily as one could expect. The sheer numbers of networked computers, as well as the overall size of online populations tell us only a part of the story. Close inspection of the finer features of Eastern Asian cyberspace point to the existence of many additional trends.

Electronic environments of Eastern Asia

Indicators

Among indicators which are used to assess economic and political standing of various countries (e.g. WTO 2000, Saltman 2001, Thede n.d.) there is a suite of measurements dealing with citizens' access to online and offline infrastructure and to telecommunication devices. Each of these measurements deals with a different issue.

Economic context

Population measured in millions of citizens points to the overall size of the country's human capital. The GDP values, calculated in terms of their purchasing power parities (PPP) and expressed in US dollars, summarise sizes of the economies. Note 4.

Telecommunications environment

The number of phone lines and cellular phones describe the ease with which voice-information (in addition to faxes and digital data and services) can flow within and between nations.

Online electronic context

The number of personal computers measures citizens' potential to create and manipulate digital information. The number of Internet hosts measures citizens' potential to access, publish, manipulate and distribute such information and use online services, such as banking and e-commerce. The number of subscribers refers to the actual use of the communicational and computational infrastructure. The number of constructed WWW links is also symptomatic. Their large numbers imply an energetic production of Web pages. Conversely, low numbers imply that surfing the web, i.e. passive use of cyberspace, takes precedence over electronic publishing, i.e. the active use of it. The next variable, the number of Internet Service Providers, or companies that provides access to the Internet, signals two developments. Firstly, it shows how easy it is to arrange for a private connection to the information highways. Inevitably, nations with few ISPs are forced to access the Net through computers at work and computers in public places, such as clubs, cyber-cafes and barber-shops. Conversely, countries with many ISPs facilitate the use of privately owned and home-based PCs as entry points to the Net. Additionally, the ISP numbers are also symptomatic of the presence or absence of political and administrative control, surveillance and censorship of citizens' online activities. The smaller the ISP numbers the more likely the state is to be monitoring and censoring online traffic. The converse is also true.

Offline electronic context

The last four variables point to the overall variety of information broadcast by the electronic media. The greater the number of broadcasting stations, the greater the chance that their programs cater for the interests of small, varied and often marginal subsections of a community. Finally, the number of radio and TV receivers in use measures the ease with which broadcasts from these various stations reach their general and specialist audiences.

Raw measurements of electronic environments in Eastern Asia

The data on the size of populations and the twelve measurements describing the situation in Eastern Asia are listed in Table 4. The table publishes information for the period between the late 1990s and mid-2001.

Table 4: Gross economic and electronic development in ten Eastern Asian countries in the late 1990s
Country Popul.
mln
GDP
[PPP]
$bln
Phones
mln
Mobiles
mln
Hosts
mln
PCs
mln
People
online
mln
WWW
Links
mln
ISPs Radio
stations
TV
stations
Radio
sets
mln
TVs
sets
mln
Japan 126.55 2,950 60.3 36.5 4.64 29.99 27.06 7.37 357 302 7,108 120.5 86.5
Taiwan 22.19 357 12 10.2 1.10 15.62 6.40 0.59 15 601 29 16 8.8
S. Korea 47.47 625.7 23.1 8.6 0.40 7.45 15.30 1.98 11 209 121 47.5 15.9
Hong Kong 7.12 158.2 3.708 2.4 0.23 1.81 1.85 2.41 49 20 4 4.45 1.84
Singapore 4.15 98 7.98 1.02 0.18 1.90 1.74 1.85 8 20 4 2.55 1.33
China 1,261.83 4,800 110 23.4 0.07 11.25 16.90 0.91 3 649 3,240 417 400
Malaysia 21.79 229.1 4.4 2.17 0.07 1.28 1.50 1.30 8 92 27 9.1 3.6
Thailand 61.23 388.7 5.4 2.3 0.06 1.32 1.00 0.80 13 544 5 13.96 15.19
Indonesia 224.78 610 3.291 1.2 0.03 1.85 0.40 0.48 24 803 41 31.5 13.75
Philippines 81.16 282 1.9 1.959 0.02 1.22 0.50 0.72 93 659 31 11.5 3.7
Total 1,858.3 10,498.7 232.1 89.7 6.8 73.7 72.7 18.4 580 3,900 10,610 674 551
Average 185.83 1,049.8 23.21 8.97 0.68 7.37 7.27 1.84 58 390 1,061 67.4 55.1
Source: CIA
2000
CIA
2000
CIA
2000
CIA
2000
ISC
2001
HDRO
2001
Nua
2001b
Ciolek
2001a
CIA
2000
CIA
2000
CIA
2000
CIA
2000
CIA
2000

Source: For details of the data see Note 3

Table 4 identifies the overall leaders in each of the thirteen types of measurements. The data show, not surprisingly, that in the studied region it is the populous countries who have large GDPs. This trend is both strong and significant (Pearson Correlation Coefficient r=0.87, significance level 0.005). Furthermore, countries with large GDPs tend to have more electronic tools and products than their demographically smaller and proportionally less pecunious neighbours. These trends are also strong and statistically significant. Inspection of Table 4 shows that the gross value of the countries' GDP is positively correlated with the overall numbers of installed phones (r=0.99, signif. 0.005), radio sets (r=0.96, signif. 0.005) and TVs (r=0.94, signif. 0.005). It is also strongly correlated with numbers of mobiles (r=0.83, signif. 0.005), TV stations (r=0.77, signif. 0.005), and overall numbers of subscribers (r=0.75, signif. 0.01).

However, the table also reveals several local departures from the pattern. For example, China leads Japan and Korea in terms of conventional telephone lines. But China trails behind Japan in terms of the overall number of mobile phones. Similarly, China leads the entire region in terms of the number of installed radio sets, but trails behind Indonesia and Philippines in terms of the number of radio stations. Finally, China in comparison with its neighbours may have the second largest population of subscribers, but it is also the country with the smallest number of Internet Service Providers. In 1998 it had only three ISPs, whereas the equivalent numbers recorded in 1999 ranged from eight (Singapore, Malaysia) to over ten (South Korea, Thailand, Taiwan) and to as high as 357 (Japan).

Standardised measurements of electronic environments in Eastern Asia

Obviously, as long as one looks at the absolute numbers, most of the regularities displayed by the assembled data remain invisible. To see these regularities we need to bring the raw values to a common denominator. In the case of our data, we shall use the following types of values: per capita, per 1000 of population, and where appropriate, per million of population. Thus standardised measurements are listed in Table 5.

Table 5: Economic and electronic indicators in ten Eastern Asian countries in the late 1990s
GDP
[PPP]
Phones Mobiles Hosts PCs People
online
WWW
Links
ISPs Radio
stations
TV
stations
Radio
sets
TV
sets
Country per
capita
per
1000
popul.
per
1000
popul.
per
1000
popul.
per
1000
popul.
per
1000
popul.
per
1000
popul.
per
mln
popul.
per
mln
popul.
per
mln
popul.
per
1000
popul.
per
1000
popul.
Japan $23,400 476 288 37 237 214 58 2.8 2.4 56.2 952 684
Taiwan $16,100 541 460 49 704 288 27 0.7 27.1 1.3 721 397
S. Korea $13,300 487 181 8 157 322 42 0.2 4.4 2.5 1001 335
Hong Kong $23,100 521 337 32 254 260 339 6.9 2.8 0.6 625 259
Singapore $27,800 1922 246 42 458 419 446 1.9 4.8 1.0 614 320
China $3,800 87 19 0.1 9 13 0.7 0.002 0.5 2.6 330 317
Malaysia $10,700 202 100 3 59 69 60 0.4 4.2 1.2 418 165
Thailand $6,400 88 38 1 22 16 13 0.2 8.9 0.1 228 248
Indonesia $2,800 15 5 0.1 8 2 2 0.1 3.6 0.2 140 61
Philippines $3,600 23 24 0.2 15 6 9 1.1 8.1 0.4 142 46
Eastern Asian
Average *
$5,650 125 48 4 40 39 10 0.3 2.1 5.7 363 296

* Calculated by dividing the sum of measurements for the whole region by the region's overall population.
Source: Data computed from Table 4 above.

Data contained in Table 5 are most useful. They clearly reveal the distribution of wealth (as well as the lack of it) and differential densities of electronic devices, services and resources. We can notice that each of the indicators has its own set of high-performers. Their names tend to repeat themselves. They are:

Also, as Table 6 illustrates, the GDP/capita values are positively and significantly correlated with the other variables per unit of population: phone lines, mobile phones, networked hosts, PCs, subscribers, WWW links, ISPs, radio sets, and TV sets. Moreover, Table 6 shows that several of these indicators also co-vary.

Table 6: Correlations between the indicators in ten Eastern Asian countries in the late 1990s *
GDP
[PPP]
Phones Mobiles Hosts PCs People
online
WWW
Links
ISPs Radio
stations
TV
stations
Radio
sets
per
capita
per
1000
popul.
per
1000
popul.
per
1000
popul.
per
1000
popul.
per
1000
popul.
per
1000
popul.
per
mln
popul.
per
mln
popul.
per
mln
popul.
per
1000
popul.
Phones 0.81
Mobiles 0.79
Hosts 0.87 0.69 0.93
PCs 0.69 0.64 0.91 0.92
People
online
0.88 0.84 0.79 0.81 0.78
WWW
Links
0.79 0.84


0.68
ISPs 0.65




0.66
Radio
stations




0.69


TV
stations









Radio
sets
0.73
0.74 0.64
0.81


0.68
TV
sets
0.63

0.64




0.86 0.79

* Empty cells indicate the lack of significant correlation
The levels of significance for 8 d.f. are: 0.632=5%, 0.716=1%, 0.765=0.5% (Madrigal 1998:235)
Source: Data computed from Table 5 above.

The link between GDP per capita and the nine (out of 11) indicators, is, of course, an overall regularity, which has spectacular exceptions. For example, Taiwan has moderate incomes of $16,100 per capita, yet it leads the region in terms of saturation with mobile phones, Internet hosts, and personal computers.

Eastern Asian cyberspace

Hypertext links

Although there are many tools for interaction with the body of networked information, the most widespread and most visible of them is, at present, the WWW. The Web was first brought to cyberspace in May 1991. It is a popular and easy method of formatting online information and making it accessible to online audiences world-wide. Its massive and enthusiastic acceptance stems from the fact that it performs several functions at once. It neatly weaves together information in form of strings of text and embedded images. In addition, it handles animations, sound files, user inputs and even real-time data manipulation. Finally, it enables people to put together groups of documents, cross link them, as well as to establish hypertext links to other online resources.

Many of the links criss-crossing cyberspace are purely domestic ones. They knit together resources from a single country. On the other hand, links criss-crossing cyberspace can also be more adventurous. They can form connections between electronic documents and resources from different, often distant, countries. Sometimes a single web page may act as a source of origin to tens (or even hundreds) of hypertext connections. Similarly, a single Web address may act as a terminus for many hundreds of links from all parts of cyberspace. Note 5. However numerous and tangled these links might be, it is possible to ascertain both their sources and targets. Under the right conditions, all sources of links in publicly accessible cyberspace can be precisely identified. Also, all their destinations can be repeatedly and consistently traced, recorded and counted (Ciolek 2001b). Results of the first ever survey (Ciolek 2001a) of origins and destinations among the links established on the web sites situated in Eastern Asia are listed in Table 7.

Table 7: Focus of electronic attention in ten Eastern Asian countries Jul 2001
Country Domestic
WWW links
% Asian
WWW links a
% World
WWW links b
% Total % All links
Japan 2,208,699 30% 509,194 7% 4,655,676 63% 7,373,569 40%
Hong Kong 634,745 26% 237,280 10% 1,540,250 64% 2,412,275 13%
Korea 605,071 31% 202,090 10% 1,175,164 59% 1,982,325 11%
Singapore 480,986 26% 279,429 15% 1,090,279 59% 1,850,694 10%
Malaysia 275,095 21% 142,422 11% 879,723 68% 1,297,240 7%
China 116,927 13% 65,156 7% 731,524 80% 913,607 5%
Thailand 212,408 26% 73,857 9% 516,432 64% 802,697 4%
Philippines 179,779 25% 63,811 9% 473,784 66% 717,374 4%
Taiwan 104,738 18% 64,073 11% 419,705 71% 588,516 3%
Indonesia 104,085 22% 50,650 10% 328,246 68% 482,981 3%
Total 4,922,533 1,687,962 11,810,783 18,421,278 100%

a Pages with links to other Asian countries
b Pages with links to the rest of the world
Source: Ciolek (2001a)

Eastern Asian cyberspace: targets of online activities

Table 7 is a treasure-trove of fascinating information. The fact that Japan, again, is the most active player is not surprising at all. A country with 4.6 million hosts (68 per cent of the regional total) might be expected (see Table 3 again) to generate a comparatively large number of hyperlinked web pages. However, what we notice is that Japan produced only 40 per cent of the region's links. This is a most curious development indeed. It suggests that the numbers of WWW links produced in a given country are not directly related the size of the local Net. An additional surprise is provided by the electronic behaviour of Taiwan. In July 2001 Taiwan, which represents 16 per cent of hosts in the region, and 9 per cent of the region's online population, accounted only for 3 per cent of the region's links. Again the volume of Internet hardware and the numbers of subscribers do not translate directly into creation of hypertext resources. At present, the significance of this result is unclear. Does it mean that networked computers in Taiwan are used chiefly for number crunching, data routing, and the data storage? Or, does it mean that people of Taiwan abstain from publishing web documents, and instead prefer to roam the Web and lurk at various mailing lists and chartrooms? Or does it mean that Taiwanese documents deliver large amounts of locally produced text and that they are not used as hypertext springboards for information situated elsewhere? Many questions arise, yet at the moment, we do not have satisfactory answers. Clearly, a separate investigation might be in order.

While subscribers from Taiwan seem to be reticent to construct hypertext connections, Singaporeans prove to be a very different breed of Internauts. There, a country with 2.6 per cent of the region's web resources (and 2.4 per cent of the region's subscribers) succeeded in generating a hefty 10 per cent of the region's links. It looks as if the country which forms the transportation and trading crossroads in physical space, is doing its best to serve as a key electronic communications hub as well. In turn, this means that the leadership in terms of networked hardware does not translate directly into leadership in the area of hypertext information. The use of cyberspace appears to be shaped by educated imagination of what the Net can be used for. But these observations describe only a part of a larger configuration. A closer look at Table 7 shows that the 10x3 matrix is an outcome of an interaction involving three distinct trends. Links in Eastern Asia (please remember that at this stage we do not know anything about the behaviour of subscribers in other parts of Asia, nor do we know anything about online behaviour typical of other parts of the world) do not dart haphazardly. To the contrary, they behave in a very orderly manner.

The available data (no less than 18.4 million observations) strongly imply the existence of three distinct foci of electronic attention: (a) resources in one's own country, (b) resources in other Asian countries, and (c) resources in non-Asian countries. This pattern is revealed in Table 8 which groups the ten Eastern Asian countries into three clusters, each according to the preferred target of hypertext connections.

Table 8: Typology of "WWW styles" of ten Eastern Asian countries
Countries/Style Domestic
WWW links
Asian
WWW links
World
WWW links
Total
Japan, S. Korea 2,813,770
(30.1%)
711,284
(7.6%)
5,830,840
(62.3%)
9,355,894
(100%)
HK, Singapore,
Thailand, Philippines
1,507,918
(26.1%)
654,377
(11.3%)
3,620,745
(62.6%)
5,783,040
(100%)
Taiwan, China,
Malaysia, Indonesia
600,845
(18.3%)
322,301
(9.8%)
2,359,198
(71.9%)
3,282,344
(100%)

Source: Table 7 above

Table 8 is instructive. Yes, it is true for all ten countries, and for all three groups, that they direct their links most heavily toward resources situated outside of Asia. It is not a surprising situation; global cyberspace is a very big indeed. In July 2001 the Google search engine (www.google.com) reported the existence of no less than 1.3 billion web pages. It is also true that in all cases domestic links are more numerous than those leading to resources established in Asian countries. Nevertheless, within such a heavily circumscribed field of action, countries can exercise a large degree of freedom in the manner they handle their cyberspace relationships.

Japan and South Korea, countries in the first group, seem to have an especially high interest in monitoring their own domestic web sites. Japanese Web developers create pages with links to Japanese resources; while their South Korean counterparts create pages with links to South Korean materials. All this happens at the expense of electronic interest in sites built elsewhere in Asia. By contrast, the second group (Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines) makes an extra effort to monitor online resources from Asia as a whole. This is done at the expense of links established with their domestic sites. The third group is made of such electronically and economically dissimilar countries (see again Table 5) as Taiwan, China, Malaysia and Indonesia. Nevertheless, they all have a common trait. They all display a very strong interest in world-wide online destinations. They dispatch between 68 per cent to 80 per cent of their web links in that direction. This preoccupation with the non-Asian cyberworld happens at the expense of interest in resources which are either home-grown or Asian-grown.

A systematic country-by-country inspection of all twelve indicators from Table 5 finds that there is no common environmental context for countries favouring a particular focus of online attention. Inspection of data from Table 2 (column: 'online people/host'), as well as from Tables 5 and 7 reveal only a handful of statistically significant correlations between the variables. Firstly, the focus on domestic resources is very strongly and negatively, i.e. inversely, related to the interest in the world-resources (r=-0.93, signif. 0.005). It is also negatively correlated with the number of subscribers per host (r=-0.68, signif. 0.05). In other words, if a country shows special interest in domestic cyberspace, then it is nearly certain that it will not show interest in non-Asian resources. Moreover, such countries will have low user to host ratios. Naturally, converse conclusions are also valid. No meaningful interdependencies were found for other variables. Secondly, the focus on Asian resources is positively correlated with the number of phones (r=0.77, signif. 0.005), and WWW links (r=0.68, signif. 0.05) per unit of population. No statistically significant relationships were found for other variables. Thirdly, as noted before, the focus on world resources is negatively correlated with the focus on domestic-resources (r=-0.93, signif. 0.005). It is also positively correlated with the ratio of online people to a host (r=0.77, signif. 0.005). In plain English it means that the less often domestic links are established, and the more subscribers use the same host, the more likely it is that they will create web pages that address information systems situated outside Asia. Apart from these two correlations no significant interdependencies were found for other variables.

Eastern Asian cyberspace: the intensity of online activities

It is finally the time to look at three additional and hitherto unexplored behavioural variables (see Table 9). The first of them is the number of WWW links per subscriber. This variable measures people's productivity on the Web. The second and third variables resemble the first. They count the number WWW links per host and per PC. The links/host variable, measures the intensity with which networked machines are populated with electronic documents. The link/PC variable describes the intensity of uses of personal computers for e-publishing purposes. The values of these three variables in each of the discussed countries are listed in Table 9.

Table 9: Online behaviour and people in three groups of Eastern Asian countries
Country WWW links
per host
WWW links
per PC
WWW links
per subscriber
Philippines 36.8 0.59 1.4
Malaysia 19.0 1.02 0.9
Indonesia 18.1 0.26 1.2
China 13.0 0.08 0.1
Thailand 12.7 0.61 0.8
Singapore 10.5 0.97 1.1
Hong Kong 10.5 1.33 1.3
S. Korea 5.0 0.27 0.1
Japan 1.6 0.25 0.3
Taiwan 0.5 0.04 0.1
Eastern Asian Avg.* 2.7 0.52 0.3

* The sum of measurements for the whole region divided by the region's overall population.
Source: Data computed from Table 4 above.

Again, a close inspection of data in Table 9, first in terms of their content, and next in terms of a comparison with Table 5, uncovers additional regularities. We can see that there are three levels of intensity with which networked machines appear to be used for the production of hypertext links, and therefore for the production of WWW pages. The Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia form the most productive group. Moderate levels of WWW productivity characterise China, Thailand, Singapore and Hong Kong. Low levels of production of links are found on Internet hosts situated in South Korea, Japan and Taiwan. In addition, Table 9 shows that the intensity with which online populations of the region create hypertext connections is strongly polarised. Subscribers in the Philippines, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand tend to generate, on average, between 0.8 to 1.4 links each. Their online colleagues in Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and China are far less productive. There the average varies from 0.1 to 0.3 links/subscriber.

Table 10: Correlations between online behaviour and indicators for ten Eastern Asian countries in the late 1990s
GDP
[PPP]
Phones Mobiles Hosts PCs People
online
WWW
Links
ISPs Radio
stations
TV
stations
Radio
sets
TV
sets
per
capita
per
1000
popul.
per
1000
popul.
per
1000
popul.
per
1000
popul.
per
1000
popul.
per
1000
popul.
per
mln
popul.
per
mln
popul.
per
mln
popul.
per
1000
popul.
per
1000
popul.
WWW links
per host


-0.69 -0.64
-0.63



-0.78 -0.81
WWW links
per PC






0.71




WWW links
per subscriber









-0.65
-0.67

The levels of significance for 8 d.f. are: 0.632=5%, 0.716=1%, 0.765=0.5%
* Empty cells indicate the lack of significant correlation
Source: Data computed from Tables 5 and 9 above.

Table 10 shows that these online behaviours are correlated with some of the earlier discussed environmental variables. The table shows that the numbers of WWW links per host are inversely correlated with such measures per unit of population as the GDP, mobiles, subscribers, radio sets and television sets. This would suggest that people in poorer countries, with less access to telecommunications, broadcasting media, and with fewer subscribers use hosts very extensively. Conversely, the more affluent countries, which are also the ones with more Internet subscribers, tend to use their host infrastructure less energetically. The production of hypertext links per personal computer is positively correlated only with one environmental variable, namely with the number of WWW links per unit of population. This means that countries which are characterised by higher production of hypertext links tend to use PCs more intensively. Similarly interesting are the numbers of WWW links per online subscriber. This measure is found to be inversely correlated with the densities of TV stations, as well as television sets per unit of population. As before, the presence of the broadcasting media seems to stifle people's creative uses of the Web.

6. Conclusions

The above findings now need to be summarised. The first part, "Eastern Asia and the Internet" has yielded several descriptive statistics. They do not need to be recapitulated here. However, data provided by the two more complex sections, namely the "Electronic environments of Eastern Asia" and "Eastern Asian cyberspace", lead to the following conclusion:

It can be seen that the relative wealth of a country strongly determines the telecommunications, Internet and broadcasting infrastructures. The greater the wealth, the greater is the saturation of a country with devices and resources used for the sending and receiving of electronic information - both digital and analogue. Furthermore, many of these devices and resources, when brought together, form a dynamic milieu which both influences - and is influenced by - the ways people relate to the Internet and its informational holdings. Finally, all three parts of the paper strongly suggest that among the investigated countries people's online behaviours are not haphazard. Therefore, these behaviours can be studied, categorized and classified. In fact, as Table 11 shows, they seem to represent distinct strategies for dealing with the Internet.

Table 11: The Net and cyberspace strategies in Eastern Asia
Scenario
#
Density of hosts per
1000 population
Focus of
WWW sites
WWW uses
of hosts
Example
01 high domestic high --
02 high domestic moderate --
03 high domestic low JAPAN
04 high Asia high --
05 high Asia moderate HONG KONG
SINGAPORE
06 high Asia low --
07 high world high --
08 high world moderate --
09 high world low TAIWAN
10 moderate domestic high --
11 moderate domestic moderate --
12 moderate domestic low S. KOREA
13 moderate Asia high --
14 moderate Asia moderate THAILAND
15 moderate Asia low --
16 moderate world high MALAYSIA
17 moderate world moderate --
18 moderate world low EASTERN ASIA
as a whole
19 low domestic high --
20 low domestic moderate --
21 low domestic low --
22 low Asia high PHILIPPINES
23 low Asia moderate --
24 low Asia low --
25 low world high INDONESIA
26 low world moderate CHINA
27 low world low --

In other words, Eastern Asia, as a whole, as a geographic region, represents strategy number 18. It shows a moderate density of hosts, a focus on the world's electronic resources, and low usage of hosts for the purpose of WWW publications. Within such a general context, all other countries of the region, apart from the two city-states/territories, namely Singapore and Hong Kong, which adopted the same strategy (i.e. high density of hosts, focus on Asian web resources, moderate use of hosts for WWW publications) follow their very own and separate paths. However, Table 11 does not merely describe the state of electronic affairs prevailing in Eastern Asia. The table also generates a number of provocative research questions. Out of twenty seven possible scenarios, nine have been found to be of use to the countries of Eastern Asia. The other eighteen strategies remain, at the moment, without representation. Therefore we are prompted to ask: have the studied countries always preferred a particular strategy, or do all these various logical permutations represent distinct evolutionary stages through which countries (as well as larger scale regions and lower scale administrative units) tend to progress? Another question: how do other Asian regions and their constituent countries fit this model? Which strategies seem to be followed most often, and which tend to be avoided? Also, how do other parts of the world fare in this analysis? Will all categories within Table 11 find an exemplar, or will some of them remain forever empty?

These are intriguing questions. And, as this paper attempted to show, these are also fully answerable questions.

Notes

1. My thanks are due to Penny Ramsey and Sebastian Clark as well as the two anonymous reviewers of this article. Their technical comments and energetic factual advice are hereby gratefully acknowledged.

2. For instance, since 1996 the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, ANU, Canberra provides a home to three or four official, Vietnam-owned and Vietnam-maintained web servers, all with the Vietnam's address ".vn". This is one of the ways the RSPAS supports the fledgling academic Internet in Vietnam. By having a home in Australia the servers in question bypass endemic traffic-jams and break-downs characteristic of the Net in Vietnam (Hurle 2001).
Return to the main part of the document.

3. Sources and dates of statistical data used in Table 4.

Japan: GDP [purchasing power parity or PPP] (1999 est., CIA 2000); Population (Jul 2000 est., CIA 2000); Telephones - main lines in use (1997, CIA 2000); Telephones - mobile cellular (1998, CIA 2000); Networked hosts (Jan 2001, ISC 2001); Personal computers (est. by T.M. Ciolek from values per 1000 population for 1996-98, HDRO 2001); Online users (May 2000, Nua 2001b); Web links (Jul 2001, Ciolek 2001a); Internet Service Providers [ISP] (1999, CIA 2000); Radio broadcast stations (1999, CIA 2000); Television broadcast stations (1999, CIA 2000); Radios (1997, CIA 2000); Televisions (1997, CIA 2000);

Taiwan: GDP [PPP] (1999 est., CIA 2000); Population (Jul 2000 est., CIA 2000); Telephones - main lines in use (Oct 1999, CIA 2000); Telephones - mobile cellular (Oct 1998, CIA 2000); Networked hosts (Jan 2001, ISC 2001); Personal computers (est. by T.M. Ciolek from 1994 data by World Bank Group. n.d.b, and values per 1000 population for 1996-98 data for the neighbour countries, HDRO 2001); Online users (Jul 2000, Nua 2001b); Web links (Jul 2001, Ciolek 2001a); Internet Service Providers (1999, CIA 2000); Radio broadcast stations (1999, CIA 2000); Television broadcast stations (1997, CIA 2000); Radios (1994, CIA 2000); Televisions (1998, CIA 2000);

South Korea: GDP [PPP] (1999 est., CIA 2000); Population (Jul 2000 est., CIA 2000); Telephones - main lines in use (1998, CIA 2000); Telephones - mobile cellular (1998, CIA 2000); Networked hosts (Jan 2001, ISC 2001); Personal computers (est. by T.M. Ciolek from values per 1000 population for 1996-98, HDRO 2001); Online users (Jul 2000, Nua 2001b); Web links (Jul 2001, Ciolek 2001a); Internet Service Providers (1999, CIA 2000); Radio broadcast stations (1999, CIA 2000); Television broadcast stations (1999, CIA 2000); Radios (1997, CIA 2000); Televisions (1997, CIA 2000);

Hong Kong: GDP [PPP] (1999 est., CIA 2000); Population (Jul 2000 est., CIA 2000); Telephones - main lines in use (1998, CIA 2000); Telephones - mobile cellular (Jul 1998, CIA 2000); Networked hosts (Jan 2001, ISC 2001); Personal computers (est. by T.M. Ciolek from values per 1000 population for 1996-98, HDRO 2001); Online users (Jun 2000, Nua 2001b); Web links (Jul 2001, Ciolek 2001a); Internet Service Providers (1999, CIA 2000); Radio broadcast stations (1998, CIA 2000); Television broadcast stations (1997, CIA 2000); Radios (1997, CIA 2000); Televisions (1997, CIA 2000);

Singapore: GDP [purchasing power parity] (1999 est., CIA 2000); Population (Jul 2000 est., CIA 2000); Telephones - main lines in use: 54.6 million (including 46.62 million that serve facsimile machines, computers, and other communication devices) (1998, CIA 2000) Note: in this paper data on the telephones linking computers, fax lines etc. have been excluded from the calculations; Telephones - mobile cellular (1998, CIA 2000); Networked hosts (Jan 2001, ISC 2001); Personal computers (est. by T.M. Ciolek from values per 1000 population for 1996-98, HDRO 2001); Online users (May 2000, Nua 2001b); Web links (Jul 2001, Ciolek 2001a); Internet Service Providers (1999, CIA 2000); Radio broadcast stations (1998, CIA 2000); Television broadcast stations (1997, CIA 2000); Radios (1997, CIA 2000); Televisions (1997, CIA 2000);

China: GDP [PPP] (1999 est., CIA 2000); Population (Jul 2000 est., CIA 2000); Telephones - main lines in use (1999 est., CIA 2000); Telephones - mobile cellular (1998, CIA 2000); Networked hosts (Jan 2001, ISC 2001); Personal computers (est. by T.M. Ciolek from values per 1000 population for 1996-98, HDRO 2001); Online users (Jul 2000, Nua 2001b); Web links (Jul 2001, Ciolek 2001a); Internet Service Providers IPS (1998, CIA 2000); Radio broadcast stations (1999, CIA 2000); Television broadcast stations (1997, CIA 2000); Radios (1997, CIA 2000); Televisions (1997, CIA 2000);

Malaysia: GDP [PPP] (1999 est., CIA 2000); Population (Jul 2000 est., CIA 2000); Telephones - main lines in use (1998, CIA 2000); Telephones - mobile cellular (1998, CIA 2000); Networked hosts (Jan 2001, ISC 2001); Personal computers (est. by T.M. Ciolek from values per 1000 population for 1996-98, HDRO 2001); Online users (Jul 2000, Nua 2001b); Web links (Jul 2001, Ciolek 2001a); Internet Service Providers (1999, CIA 2000); Radio broadcast stations (1999, CIA 2000); Television broadcast stations (1999, CIA 2000); Radios (1997, CIA 2000); Televisions (1997, CIA 2000);

Thailand: GDP [PPP] (1999 est., CIA 2000); Population (Jul 2000 est., CIA 2000); Telephones - main lines in use (1998, CIA 2000); Telephones - mobile cellular (1998, CIA 2000); Networked hosts (Jan 2001, ISC 2001); Personal computers (est. by T.M. Ciolek from values per 1000 population for 1996-98, HDRO 2001); Online users (Mar 2000, Nua 2001b); Web links (Jul 2001, Ciolek 2001a); Internet Service Providers (1999, CIA 2000); Radio broadcast stations (1999, CIA 2000); Television broadcast stations (1997, CIA 2000); Radios (1997, CIA 2000); Televisions (1997, CIA 2000);

Indonesia: GDP [PPP] (1999 est., CIA 2000); Population (Jul 2000 est., CIA 2000); Telephones - main lines in use (1995, CIA 2000); Telephones - mobile cellular (1998, CIA 2000); Networked hosts (Jan 2001, ISC 2001); Personal computers (est. by T.M. Ciolek from values per 1000 population for 1996-98, HDRO 2001); Online users (Jul 2000, Nua 2001b); Web links (Jul 2001, Ciolek 2001a); Internet Service Providers (1999, CIA 2000); Radio broadcast stations (1998, CIA 2000); Television broadcast stations (1999, CIA 2000); Radios (1997, CIA 2000); Televisions (1997, CIA 2000);

Philippines: GDP [PPP] (1999 est., CIA 2000); Population (Jul 2000 est., CIA 2000); Telephones - main lines in use (1997, CIA 2000); Telephones - mobile cellular (1998, CIA 2000); Networked hosts (Jan 2001, ISC 2001); Personal computers (est. by T.M. Ciolek from values per 1000 population for 1996-98, HDRO 2001); Online users (Jul 2000, Nua 2001b); Web links (Jul 2001, Ciolek 2001a); Internet Service Providers (1999, CIA 2000); Radio broadcast stations (1999, CIA 2000); Television broadcast stations (1997, CIA 2000); Radios (1997, CIA 2000); Televisions (1997, CIA 2000);
Return to the main part of the document.

4. "The PPP method involves the use of standardized international dollar price weights, which are applied to the quantities of final goods and services produced in a given economy. The data derived from the PPP method provide the best available starting point for comparisons of economic strength and well-being between countries" (CIA 2000, Notes and Definitions).
Return to the main part of the document.

5. For instance, according to the Altavista search engine (www.altavista.com), in late July 2001 a homepage (iias.leidenuniv.nl) of the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), Leiden, the Netherlands was linked from 4,505 web pages in the world. At the same time the Institute's Southeast Asian Studies WWW Virtual Library (iias.leidenuniv.nl/wwwvl/southeast.html) was linked from 514 web pages.
Return to the main part of the document.

References

The great volatility of online information means that some of the Internet addresses listed below may change, or disappear altogether, by the time this printed article reaches its audience. Fortunately, since early 1996, most of the web sites world-wide are now systematically tracked and permanently archived by The Internet Archive, a brainchild of Brewster Kahle, San Francisco, USA. Therefore, in order to retrieve the no-longer existing copy of given electronic resource, please use The Internet Archive's "WayBack Machine" (unveiled in the late 2001) at the www.archive.org address. The date in round brackets indicates the document's version (as stated by the source itself, or the date it was last accessed by this author).

Version and Change History


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