China Internet Museum

Current Position: History>>1996>>Milestones


National Computer Virus Emergency Response Center was established in Tianjin.


National backbone network of CHINANET was built and officially launched. Public computer Internet network in the national scope started to render services.

January 13

The State Council Informatization Leading Group, together with its Office, was set up, with Vice Premier Zou Jiahua of the State Council acting as the head. Former National Economic Informatization Joint Conference was changed to the Office of State Council Informatization Leading Group.

February 1

The State Council promulgated the Interim Provisions on Administration of the International Networking of Computer Information Networks in the People's Republic of China (Decree No. 195).

February 27

China International Electronic Commerce Center under Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation was inaugurated.


The "Unified Transmission Standard for Chinese Character Coding Adept in Different Countries" submitted by Tsinghua University to IETF was approved by IETF as RFC1922, becoming China's first proposal recognized as RFC document.

April 9

The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunication issued the Measures for Administration of International Networking of Public Computers in China, which took effect as of the date of issuance.

June 3

The Ministry of Electronics Industry released the Decisions Concerning the Administration of International Interconnection of Computer Information Networks and renamed Golden Bridge Network as China Golden Bridge Information Network (CHINAGBN). Jitong Communication Co., Ltd was authorized as the interconnected unit of CHINAGBN to take responsibility for network connection management and service provision for units and users connected to Internet.

After June

The newly established State Council Informatization Leading Group decided to greatly develop China's Internet undertaking. Since then, China's Internet started to embrace leapfrog development.


The State Council Informatization Office organized several experts from related departments to conduct investigations over technical facilities and management status of China's four major Internet networks and nearly 30 ISPs, playing a role of promotion for standardization of network management.


The State Development Planning Commission approved initiation of Gold Bridge Project phase one. On September 6, 1996, CHINAGBN opened a 256K special line connected to the United States. CHINAGBN also announced the decision to provide Internet access service, mainly for institutional users through dedicated lines and individual users through telephone lines.

December 3

China Economic Information Network ( was launched.

April 26

Wang Yan and his Xinyi Multi-media Team were integrated into Stone Richsight to start the building of SRSNET website.


Shanghai's first coffeenet Wingate was born. In a few months, it issued nearly 1,000 member cards.


SRSNET (predecessor of sina .cn), one of China's earliest Chinese business websites, was launched.


ITC Aitexin Electronic Technology (Beijing) Co., Ltd was registered.


Zhang Jingjun founded a famous website gznet in China, shouldering the responsibility of promoting Guangzhou to the world.


Xingfa Group invested in Info Highway, increasing the latter's total capital stock to RMB80 million. With such forceful capital support, the tiny company rapidly grew into the benchmark of China's Internet. By the end of the year, Info Highway already became a famous ISP in Beijing. It had a bigger dream, which was to construct a large net, and this grand dream used to be described as "writing China's ISP legend".

September 22

China's first regional network was officially launched for trial run, signalling that Shanghai Public Information Network as the major project of Shanghai Information Habor was officially completed.


Radio Guangdong set up its own website.

October 6

China Electronic Currency Project started up first in Tibet. On that day, China Construction Bank Tibet Branch connected 10 accountant counters, 1 credit card counter and 11 savings counter, 22 business institutions and outlets altogether, in Lhasa downtown area. Downtown Lhasa realized universal cash saving and withdrawing of saving accounts, saving cards and credit cards as well as savings clearing. On October 7, China Construction Bank in Beijing launched the national electronic clearing system.

October 13

Zhang Chaoyang assembled a server and placed it at the newly launched backbone network of Beijing Telecom (currently China Netcom Beijing Branch). This was China's first case of business server hosting and also China's first business website.


German President visited China. During this period, CERNET-DFN was launched, establishing the first Internet connection from mainland China to Europe.


CERNET launched its 2M international line connected to US. In the same month, German President visited China. During this period, CERNET-DFN was launched, establishing the first Internet connection from mainland China to Europe.

November 15

Sparkice Inc. opened Sparkice Internet Café next to Beijing Capital Gymnasium. This was the first Internet café in China.


CNINFO (169. net) comprehensively kicked off. Guangdong Gent, Sichuan Tanfo Online and Shanghai Online were officially launched as its first group of stations.


CCTV and China News Service (Hong Kong) launched their website respectively, signaling a new step forward in network-based development of China's news media.


It was luxurious for ordinary people to surf the Internet, but some geeks, such as Min Dahong, after several experiments, could basically "get access to the Internet wherever there was a telephone line." He recalled that the fee for connecting to the Internet at home was RMB40 per hour at the beginning and was then adjusted down year by year.


Access to the Internet was too expensive for ordinary households to bear and raised professional requirements for knowledge in English and computer. Citizens that had contact with and cared for network were impressed by the network as difficult, expensive and slow, but were still strongly attracted.


BBS rapidly developed in China and a large number of business and amateur BBS websites started to emerge. They exchanged correspondences via long-distance dial-up and gradually formed a national network ChinaFidoNet.