Asia Pacific internet audience soars

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Some 318 million people in Asia Pacific visited internet sites in April 2008, an increase of 14 per cent from 280 million in the same month one year earlier, according to a new survey.

The total internet audience grew faster in the Far East region than in any other part of the world.

The greatest number of unique visitors was in China with 102.84 million, according to research firm comScore. Japan reported the second largest audience with 55.26 million.

ComScore said that the data does not include traffic from public PCs, such as those in internet cafés, or mobile phones and PDAs which are significant sources of internet traffic in many countries in the region.

The strongest growth was seen in India where the audience soared 27 per cent to 28.37 million. China, Taiwan, Malaysia and New Zealand also experienced double-digit growth.

South Korea was the only nation to see a decline in audience. The number of unique internet visitors in the country fell three per cent year-on-year to 26.65 million in April.

"Although each of the top 10 global properties is based in the US, each one sources the majority of its audience from outside the US," said comScore. "Half of the top 20 properties in the Asia-Pacific region are locally-owned entities. "

Five of the top 10 search sites visited by Asia Pacific users are based in the region, including China's Baidu and Korea's Naver.

Despite this, sites operated by Google and Yahoo together attracted the majority of searches from the region.

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