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China's Domain Registry Rates NetEase As China's #1 Site

The China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), a non-profit center in charge of domain registration in China, has rated Guangzhou-based NetEase as the number one Web site in China.

CNNIC is modeled after InterNIC in the United States with the similar functions of providing directory and database services, assignment of domain names and IP addresses, and education and information services.

The Chinese center is managed by the Computer Network Information Center at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, one of China's most prestigious academic institutions.

CNNIC recently conducted an online study to determine the top 10 Chinese sites in China. The study was supported by over 30 major site's in China, and the rankings were made according to votes collected from over 22,000 Internet users.

The top ten sites were:

  1. NetEase
  2. Sohu
  3. 163.net
  4. Capital Online 263.net
  5. Sina
  6. Shanghai Online
  7. Yeah!
  8. China PC Weekly
  9. Chinabyte
  10. Shenzen Online

NetEase, launched in May 1997 by William Ding's (Ding Lei) NetEase Systems, Inc., is the first portal to provide a range of free Internet services in China. These free offerings include personal Web hosting, domain names, Web-based e-mail, chat club memberships, and newsletters.

"Currently we receive around 2 million page views per day," said Lihong Su, NetEase's spokesperson. "We have 20,000 personal Web pages and hope to have another 50,000 by the end of 1999."

The free Web page offerings were so successful last year that NetEase had to cease offering them because of system limitations. However, the portal has started offering pages again in three sizes, 5 mb, 10 mb, and 20 mb.

A source at the Beijing Internet Institute told Asia.InternetNews that NetEase is one of the most popular sites in China because it offers the free services.

Yeah! is also a Web property of NetEase Systems and, according to Lihong Su, was the first Chinese language search engine. It features a full-content search function, supported by a large volume database comparable to Sohu's.

NetEase has also been successful in developing strategic partnerships with other sites. It's Web-based e-mail product is being used by 163.net, Capital Online, Hongkong.com, and China.com.

It plans to loan its search engine to several online newspapers and is testing product oriented chat forums for tech companies like Compaq and IBM.