9 October 2006

Another Good Reason to Start Learning Chinese

Most of my chinese friends cant read chinese, to which i think is a rather big disadvantage to us. 5 years from now China will be one of the country with the most internet users and expert predicted that the number of Chinese websites will far exceed the number of English websites.

They would even break away from the "current" internet and setup their own system as the current one cant accept chinese characters as a url.

This is definitely another good reason to start learning chinese now, I think i wanna send my kids to chinese school also.

Read story the story below :

Warning over 'broken up' internet
BBC News

The internet could one day be broken up into separate networks around the world, a leading light in the development of the net has warned.

Nitin Desai, chair of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), set up by the UN, warned that concerns over the net's future could lead to separation.

"People are concerned about whether the system we have now will also work five years from now," he said.

Mr Desai was speaking at a conference in London to discuss the net.

The conference was organised by Nominet, the UK body in charge of domain names ending .uk, ahead of the first-ever Internet Governance Forum, a global gathering of stakeholders in Athens later this month.

Mr Desai said there were tensions about the future regulation of the net and over specific issues such as international domain names.

"There are concerns over regulation as the internet, telephony and commerce come together," he said.

"If I look at the internet in five years from now there are going to be very, very, very more internet users in Asia than Europe or America.

"There will be more Chinese web pages than English pages.

"The types of uses for the internet in India and China are very different from western countries - they are not commerce or media; they are essentially public service applications."

The internet was increasingly being shaped by companies and organisations at the "edges" and not by government, public sector bodies and regulators, he said.

This was concerning some countries who wanted more involvement in the development of the net.

"These are the reasons these entities - government and private sector - feel they need to be reassured that the system they are relying on is secure, safe and reliable - that they cannot be suddenly thrown out of that system by some attack," said Mr Desai.

He said the Chinese government was concerned that users still had to type webpage addresses using Latin characters even when the pages were in Chinese.

"A large proportion of the internet users in China do not know the Latin alphabet.

"There are concerns about internationalised domain names in some countries who feel the debate is not moving fast enough."

He warned: "I think this is one of the key issues and if we don't address it with sufficient vigour we will get a Balkanisation of the net."

"There's a point at which the Chinese will say 'We have to have domain names in Chinese characters' and they will set up an independent system."

Other speakers at the conference felt that in some ways a "Balkanised" internet was inevitable.

Professor Howard Williams, who works with the World Bank, said the debate around future regulation of the web rested on the assumption there would be a single web in the future.

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