Internet Use on the Rise in Asia

More than 100 million Asians have access to the Internet, while more U.S. companies are taking advantage of Asian online opportunities, the U.S. Direct Marketing Association reported in its latest newsletter.

Infosys Technologies plans to expand its facilities in Bangalore, India, with a $127 million investment in the company's largest plant, the newsletter said. The expansion will add 7,120 jobs.

DoubleClick expects to double Asian revenues this year, thanks to increasing sales and the introduction of new products. The company plans to open offices in China and Taiwan.

The Taiwan government has approved plans to put 35 percent of the country's farmers online — a worldwide trend in agriculture — in order to boost productivity, reduce costs and streamline distribution.

With the growth of online banking and mobile Internet access on the island, the government expects as many as 8 million Taiwanese to be online in the near future with 2 million people buying product from e-tailers, up from 500,000 last year. More than 30 percent of the population is online.

Quoting the China Daily, the DMA newsletter said China is developing the world's first English-Chinese Internet browser able to provide automatic translation between the two languages.

Japan, finally, is recording rapid growth in its wireless Internet access service. NTT, Japan's largest telecom, saw its DoCoMo wireless Internet service grow from 3 million in 1999 to 14.5 million 2000, while 4 million use J-Phone's J-Sky service.

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