China Internet Museum

Current Position: History>>1998>>Milestones


Content delivery network (CDN) was put into use.


The First Session of the Ninth National People's Congress approved establishment of Ministry of Information Industry, which was to administer electronic information product manufacturing, communication and software industry nationwide, promote informatization of national economy and social services and assume the administration responsibility over the Internet industry. The Ministry would constitute major administrative authorities together with Ministry of Public Security and the State Council Information Office.

March 6

Office of the State Council Informatization Leading Group issued the Implementation Method of the Interim Provisions for the Administration of International Networking of Computer Information Networks in the People's Republic of China, which would take effect as of the date of issuance.


China Evaluation and Certification Center for Internet Network Security Product passed the acceptance check of the Office of State Council Informatization Leading Group and started the trial run.


Ministry of Public Security set up Supervision Bureau for Public Information Network Security to organize the implementation of computer network security protection, combat online crimes and supervise and manage the security protection status of computer information system.

September 18

Ministry of Information Industry distributed the Notice Concerning Issues on Practice of License System for International Networking Business of Computer Information Networks. ICP service was distinctly identified therein.


NetEase launched the first free e-mail service in China and free domain name system.

January 26

Compaq Computer Corporation acquired Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) with USD9.6 billion. This was the largest purchase so far in the history of computer development.


Zhang Chaoyang successfully used venture capital to set up an Internet company in China for the first time and launched the first all-Chinese search engine SOHOO.

March 1

Qwest acquired LCI. The acquisition combined fiber optical network of Qwest with LCI's strength in sales and marketing, distribution channels and user charging system.

March 6

China's first electronic transaction on the Internet was successfully handled. Mr. Wang Keping from CCTV purchased ten hours of Internet surfing service from 21Vianet via e-banking service of Bank of China.

March 16 launched China's first free Chinese e-mail system with a capacity of 300,000 users.


Sohu secured the second round of venture capital and the investors included Intel, Dow Jones, Hang Lung Group, International Data Group and US Harrison Company.


Having been severely challenged by Microsoft in the browser market, Netscape withdrew from competition and launched Netcenter portal website.


NetEase grew into the top Chinese Internet website.


Directorate General of Telecommunications under former Ministry of Posts and Telecommunication announced in Shanghai that China had officially launched the high-speed backbone channel connected to US 45MB Internet, becoming the third country with high-speed channel in the Asia-Pacific region after Japan and Australia.


Chinese Yahoo! website emerged on the Internet. This was the 13th search engine website established by Yahoo! company worldwide and collected many Chinese websites on the Internet across the globe.


One day after Chinese Yahoo! was launched, DEC released AltaVista global search engine in Singapore. The engine was available in 25 languages including Chinese, Japanese and Korean and enabled one-time search directly conducted online.

May 1998

Construction of China Great Wall Internet (CGWNET) was approved by related national authorities.


CERNET officially participated in the next-generation IP (IPv6) experimental network 6BONE.


OurGame founded by Bao Yueqiao, Jian Jing and Wang Jianhua started to set up a game server at, providing domestic Internet users with five types of online chess and card gaming service for free.

June 16

Microsoft launched its own network portal START.COM, which provided users with free e-mail service and search engine.

June 16

Employees of some Shanghai-based information network discovered the network was under attack of someone unknown while conducting the routine check. The first case of computer hacker in China broke out.

June 26

Zhang Shuxin, Director General of Info Highway, resigned. Later, Chief Engineer Jiang Zuoxian and Vice President Zhang Pu left Info Highway too.

June 26

The Financial and Business Management Software Branch of China Software Industry Association announced on behalf of over 40 Chinese financial and business management software manufacturers that in 1998, it would comprehensively enter the field of business management software.


Eric Benhamou, Chairman of the Board of 3Com, visited China to promote "united network". 3Com and Chinese Academy of Sciences jointly set up the United Network Laboratory.


CHINANET backbone network phase two started to kick off. The phase-two project would expand backbone bandwidth among the eight regions to 155M and change node routers of the eight regions entirely to gigabit routers.

July 28

Wang Weijia, who was named "Information King", invented the double faces individual move information machine (TFMIM).

August 18

Yonyou UFERP was launched and Yonyou Group unfolded the 100-city tour show across the country.

August 26

CIH virus invaded China and broke out in multiple computer application units, causing heavy losses. CIH presented anti-virus software manufacturers with a business opportunity.


Under the impact of portal websites such as Yahoo! and sohu that turned wildly popular, NetEase changed its homepage to a portal and launched the domain name netease (later changed to 163 ).


Shanghai Branch of sohu was incorporated.

September 15

Zhang Chaoyang launched SOHOO 2.0 version, claiming to develop SOHOO into China's number-one website.

September 17

School of Banking and Finance hosted the 1st Financial E-commerce Seminar, signalling that the academic circle started to discuss e-commerce in theory.


3721 was founded and launched the predecessor of network real name, Chinese URLs.

October 5

Time "Person of the Year" selected Zhang Chaoyang as one of the Top 50 Global Digital Heros and ranked him at 45.

October 20

Former Stone Richsight forum was changed to SRSNET and announced to launch its network portal website.

November 2

The 1st China International Seminar on E-commerce Strategy was held in Beijing.

November 6

Multi-media Information Education College of Hunan University, China's first online college, opened for classes, signalling that China's multi-media distance education had kicked off.

November 11

Ma Huateng and Zhang Zhidong officially incorporated Tencent. The main business of the company back then was expanding the wireless network paging system.

November 26

All Info Highway mid and senior management members collectively resigned except for General Manager. The night happened to be the night of a meteor shower in Beijing and thus the event was called the flee of a meteor shower night.


In December Jack Ma and another 17 founders released the first online trade market in Hangzhou, Alibaba Online.


Stone Richsight merged with US-based SinaNet and founded sina .


NetEase webiste was commented by Popular Computer Week to be at the top of "Most Popular Websites in China".

December 16

"Window of the Capital" Working Conference of Beijing Municipal Government revealed that the Window of the Capital website had been launched, and it was China's first large-scale government network.

December 17

China's first National Network Contest was held. Beijing Team won the first prize in the 1st China Youth Network Knowledge Competition with a total score of 230 points.

December 26

The website of China Radio International, CRI Online, was officially launched to the public.


During the France World Cup, major network companies in China took the opportunity to initiate the first large-scale network business campaign. A large number of domestic and foreign large-sized companies became online advertising sponsors, enabling network companies to taste the direct benefits brought by network for the first time.


Indonesia riot triggered activities of Chinese hackers, which was called the "first homeland defense online".