A new survey has revealed that about 9.7 percent of Chinese netizen between 13 and 30 are addicted to the Internet.
According to the report issued by the China Youth Association for Network Development (CYAND), an Internet-addict is one whose life, career and interpersonal relations are harmed by Internet use.
"Anyone fitting in one of the three criteria we set is considered Internet-addicted: First, a person feels happier or more self-fulfilled online than in real world. Second, he feels upset, depressed, or panicked when being cut off from the Internet for any reason. Third, he lies to the family members about how long he spends online," China Daily quoted the report, as stating.
China had 210 million Internet users at the end of 2007, and as reported by the China Internet Network Information Center (CINIC), the main Internet watchdog, it is slotted to become the world's largest at the beginning of this year.
The ages of Internet users ranged between 18 and 30 and they accounted for 49.9 percent of the total users, the survey said.
Even though the CINIC did not give the figure of those below 18, teenagers and youths obviously took up half of the total number of net users.
A clear gender difference was found among the addicted in the survey. About 13.29 percent of young male netizens are addicted, 7.18 percentage points higher than their female counterparts.
Among the Internet-addicted, 68.64 percent are male and 31.36 percent are female, the report said.
About 11.39 percent of the young net users between 18 and 23 are addicted to the Internet, the highest compared with those between 13 and 17 and those between 24 and 30.
The survey also found that Internet-addicted youths suffer frustration in interpersonal relations than those who were not.
It showed that 21.59 percent of the addicted do not get along well with family members, compared with 9.94 percent of those not.
The report also said that 17.49 percent of the addicted do not have good friendships, compared with 9.01 percent of those not.
The association sent out 12,000 questionnaires in schools, Internet cafes and other public places in 12 Chinese cities, including the biggest Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing and Guangzhou in September last year and received 11,023 responses.
It also did online surveys at three leading websites getting 10,363 responses.