The six years following the full-functional access to the Internet is the Foundation-Laying Stage of China’s Internet development. At this stage, directed by the principles of developing actively, enhancing management, drawing on the advantages and avoiding disadvantages as well as absorbing the quintessence for ourselves, China’s construction of the Internet infrastructure and the deployment of critical Internet resources went on the right track. Chinese netizen scale had reached a 10-million order of magnitude，the application services represented by portal websites marked the beginning of Internet innovation and entrepreneurship. Internet management shifted from mere computer network management to Internet information service management.
As the saying goes, only after hardships and dangers could accomplishment be achieved. China's lasting efforts to gain access to the Internet eventually succeeded on April 20, 1994 when the dream of full-functional access to the Internet was realized and China joined the global Internet family.
April 20, as the date of birth for Internet in China, is worth remembering by the entire Internet circle of China and everyone involved. According to international conventions, the Internet applies to various fields such as military, education, scientific research, politics, business etc.
In July, the experimental network of China Education and Research Network (CERNET) developed by Tsinghua University and five other higher education institutions was launched. In August, the project of CERNET was officially approved. In September, two 64K dedicated lines (one in Beijing and one in Shanghai) were launched via US-based Sprint. In October, CHINANET was launched and the development of CERNET kicked off in an all-round way. Such rapid and orderly progress was the herald of robust Internet development in China.
After the debut of the Internet, China saw a high tide of development in society, industry, culture, scientific research, and education. Now, China has made tremendous achievements in the cyberspace, a new living space of mankind. It not only boasts the largest number of netizens, but has also broken the monopoly of the US companies in Internet application services. By the end of 2013, the number of Chinese netizens was nearly 600 million which equaled the number of netizens in the top five developed countries combined. Through 20 years of efforts, Chinese Internet enterprises have developed many innovative proprietary technologies and business models with Chinese characteristics. Many of them have raised funds in the financial markets of Hong Kong and the US and were highly recognized and widely welcomed there. At present, three Internet enterprises from mainland China have made their way into the top rankings of global Internet companies in terms of market value (BAT: Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent). In terms of the rankings by country, China has become the second largest Internet power, following the US.
"Do not forget the man who dug the well when you drink water." Over the past 20 years, Internet gradually settled down in China and took an increasingly strong foothold. It attracted numerous talents and inspired a great many to start their own business or achieve a successful career as they dreamed of. Today, standing on a huge Internet platform laid by our predecessors, we shall pay tribute to all those who contributed to China's Internet undertaking.