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BEIJING, Aug 31, 2006 (AFP) – China’s Internet users are the world’s number one online chatterboxes, each holding an average of almost seven chatroom accounts, Xinhua news agency on Thursday quoted a survey as saying. The survey, jointly conducted by the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), Analysys International, iResearch and CCW Research, found that Chinese are also the world’s most active online instant messengers.

“China has nearly 100 million instant messenger users and they registered 828.6 million such accounts in the second quarter of 2006 alone. Some 295 million of those accounts remain active,” said the survey.

According to the survey group, China has about 123 million Internet users, each with an average of 6.7 registered instant messenger accounts.

Instant messaging is a cheap way to chat as the telecom industry is still under state monopoly and prices can be high.

The survey shows that more than 40 percent of online chatters also use instant messenger services for work purposes. It said that about 80 percent of respondents said they loved on-line voice chatting, more than 50 percent often chatted through video and more than 40 percent liked on-line real-time conferencing.

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