China expects half a billion Internet users

China expects its number of domestic Internet users to exceed 500 million within three years.

Qian Xiaoqian, vice minister in the State Council's press office, claimed as much, according to agency reports.

Today China has around 384 million online citizens. Much of the new generaton of surfers will come from rural locations as the infrastructure is developed, Qian Xiaoqian said.

Google is embroiled is a spat with the Chinese over that it calls web censorship, but it is plainly about something else. The Google monster is about as trustworthy as a Communist Party official with directional microphone.

At least that's half a billion innocents Google won't be snooping on.