Asia-Pacific Internet Users Top the World

Acting Provost Professor C. H. Chan praised the conference of the Asia-Pacific Internet Research Alliance (APIRA) as “significant to the CityU’s goal to strive for a dialogue between science and humanities.” The conference was held on 6-7 August 2009.


Entitled “Opportunities and Challenges for the Internet in the Post-Financial Tsunami Era,” the conference was organized by Professor Jonathan Zhu under the auspices of the Department of Media and Communication and the Center for Communication Research. 

APIRA is a regional consortium of Internet use research, composed of organizational members from government agencies, research firms, and universities in China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau. The Asia-Pacific region now tops the world with 660 million Internet users or 40% of the global total, compared with Europe’s 25% and North America’s 16%.

Professor Lee Chin-Chuan, head of COM, welcomed the APIRA to return to the CityU where it was first founded six years ago. In noting that new media are the focal point and common platform of education for the Department, he said, “Technological development should be guided by the enduring values of freedom, equality, and democracy.”

Professor Guanrong Chen, a pioneering scholar, from the City University of Hong Kong delivered a keynote speech on the research models that treat Internet as complex networks. Prof. Yan Ma of the China Education and Research Network reported the blueprint of the IPv6-based infrastructure and applications for China’s next-generation Internet. Dr. Fumi Yamazaki of the University of Electro-Communications examined the patterns and economics of Internet gaming in Japan, and Mr. Hui Xu, senior manager of the largest social network site ( in China, analyzed the promises and problems with online games, online video and online communities. 

The conference also consisted of country reports on Internet use. There were two research panels on Internet research methods and Internet economy.