China Internet Museum

Current Position: History>>2004>>Milestones

In early 2004

Former Ministry of Information Industry launched the project to provide communications and Internet connectivity to every village and advanced it in "Three Three Steps".

January 15

2004, China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) issued in Beijing the 13th Statistical Report on Internet Development in China. By October 31, 2003, there were 30.89 million computers in total which had access to the Internet in China. There were 79.5 million Internet subscribers, 340,040 domain names registered under .CN, and about 595,550 WWW websites. The international bandwidth was 27,216Mbit/s.

April 2004

The Information Work Leading Group Office of the State Council issued 2003 Survey Report on the Quantity of Internet Information Resources in China in Beijing. According to the report, by December 31, 2003, there were 1,187,380 domain names, 311,864,590 web pages and 169,867 online databases.

April 14

2004, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) adopted the Norms on the Registration and Administration of Chinese, Japanese and Korean Domain Names jointly proposed by the CNNIC, TWNIC, JPNIC and KRNIC as RFC3743. This was the second RFC document co-developed by China. It's aimed to solve the problem with the equivalence of simplified and traditional Chinese in multilingual domain names.

June 10

2004, the Internet News Information Service Committee under the Internet Society of China launched a website ( on which people could report illegal Internet information they found, with the mission to "report illegal information and protect public interests." It marked another big step towards strengthening self discipline of and public supervision over the Internet industry in China.

July 16

2004, the teleconference for the national campaign against pornographic websites was held, marking the official start of the campaign. On the next day, 14 departments including the Publicity Department of CCCPC, Ministry of Public Security, International Communication Office of CPPCC, Supreme People's Court, Supreme People's Procuratorate and Ministry of Information Industry jointly issued the Notice on Starting Work Related to the Crack Down on Pornographic Websites by Law.

July 21

2004, the expert committee for the China Next Generation Internet (CNGI) project was set up under the leadership of eight ministries and commissions including the National Development and Reform Commission.

August 28

2004, the 11th session of the 10th Standing Committee of National People's Congress adopted the Electronic Signature Law of the People's Republic of China and decided to implement it from April 1, 2005. It's a key step towards legislation for the ICT industry in China and would promote and serve e-governance and e-commerce in China.

May 13

The Internet Society of China issued the Email Service Standards (draft for opinion solicitation), proposed the real-name system for the first time and stressed that email service providers should demand their clients to submit true personal information which would be used to decide to whom the email services were delivered.

May 18

Websites started to apply the real-name policy. In February 2005, the Ministry of Information Industry and other departments concerned demanded that all website runners must provide the IDC and ISP of access, hosting and content services for registration via their websites or log onto the registration website of the Information Industry Ministry to register by themselves.

June 19

The Self-regulation Convention for Internet Industry in China was rolled out.

September 6

The Explanation of Several Issues on Applying Laws to Handle Criminal Cases in Which the Internet, Mobile Communication Terminals and Phone-in Information Service Centers to Produce, Replicate, Publish, Sell and Communicate Pornographic Electronic Information, jointly issued by the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate, was put into effect.

October 26

Beijing Association of Online Media was founded. It advocates and establishes the self regulation mechanism, develops operational norms, protects national information security, public interests and legitimate interests of the industry, reinforces the building of cyber culture, creates a favorable network environment, builds up a positive industry image, safeguards legitimate interests of its members and promotes the sound, orderly development of Internet news information services. On August 27, 2012, it was renamed Beijing Internet Association.


The Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG) was founded.

November 5

The Ministry of Information Industry issued the Administration of Internet Domain Names of China (Order No.30). It was put into effect on December 20, 2004.

November 29

Sina, Sohu and NetEase issued the detailed rules of China Wireless Internet Trustworthiness Alliance and launched the alliance website ( on the same day. The establishment of the alliance marked a step further towards self regulation of China's wireless information service industry.


IPv6 core router was launched.


The General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) was officially provided, attracting 26.07 million mobile Internet subscribers in that year.


The Internet Society of China was commissioned by the Ministry of Industry and Information to establish the 12321 Bad and Garbage Cyber Information Reporting and Handling Center.


Jd entered the e-commerce market and launched a multimedia website with the domain name of www.jdlaser .

From February 3 to 18

Sina, Sohu and NetEase announced their respective performance report for the year of 2003 successively, with the business revenue of USD 114 million, USD 89 million and USD 80 million, and net profits of USD 31 million, USD 39 million and USD 26 million, respectively throughout the year, making year-round profits for the first time.

February 26

Dangdang received the second venture capital investment worth of USD 11 million from the Tiger Fund, a famous venture capital firm.

February 26

Ctrip and Shanghai Charming International Travel Agency formed partnership to enter the vacation market.


China Labs released a research report claiming that 60 among the World Top 500 Websites were operating in Mainland China, and was the only integrated community website on the list.

March 4

2004, Linktone, a mobile phone service provider, was listed on Nasdaq, the first listed specialized Chinese service provider. It was followed by TOM, Shanda, Tencent, KongNet, 51job , jrj , eLong, Hurray! Holding, and the9 . Their listing marked a second overseas IPO wave of Chinese Internet companies since 2000.


Lotte, a Japanese online retailer, purchased 21.6% of the stocks of ctrip with USD 100 million; in July, IAC, an online travel network company, bought 30% of the shares of elong with USD 60 million; in August, Amazon acquired joyo with USD 75 million; in October, CNET purchased zol .cn and fengniao with USD 16 million.

June 16

Tencent Holdings was listed on the Main Board of Hong Kong Stock Exchange with the stock code of 700. It's the first mainland Internet company listed on the Main Board of Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Tencent opened its portal website in December.

By July

Shanda's game Legend had attracted over 40 million registered users, with 500,000 online players at peak hours, the most played game in the world. It created a miracle of "top-rated marketing for a third-rate game" and lured a lot of entrants into the online game market.


UC applied the cloud architecture for the computing of servers and clients to the mobile browser for the first time in the world, allowing its users to surf on the Internet on their mobile phone for the first time.

August 4

Sohu launched its third-generation interactive search engine --- Sogou.

November 18

Shanghai Zhengtu Network was founded and started to develop its first MMORPG, Zhengtu.


An official launch ceremony was hosted for qq . This was the first launch ceremony following its test launch in December 2003. The launch of the portal website marked the shift of strategic direction of Tencent.

December 8

Lenovo singed an agreement with IBM on purchasing the latter's personal computer division.

December 23

The IPv6 address of the server of Chinese top-level domain name .cn successfully logged onto the global domain name root server, marking that the .cn server accessed the IPv6 network and could support IPv6 network users' .cn name resolution. It meant that China's national domain name system had entered into the next-generation Internet.

December 25

The CERNET backbone network, one of the backbone networks of the CNGI project, was put into operation.

December 29

China Unicom Integrated Service Network Platform won the first prize of 2004 China Institute of Communications Science & Technology Award. The platform was the first integrated platform to provide audio, data, video, Internet, video conference and videophone services.


At the end of December, was officially launched and run independently. Alipay (China) Network Technology Co., Ltd. was founded.


Tencent was listed in Hong Kong in 2004 with over 300 million registered instant messaging users, including more than 100 million active ones.


Netizen Shinian Kanchai published a series of posts entitled "Small Talk about All Men Are Brothers" on Guantian Chashe, a column of, which were collected and made a book, one of the bestsellers in that year.

May 11

The first China Computer-Mediated Communication Annual Conference was held in Nanjing, in which blog was one of the hottest topics, showing Chinese academia's strong interest in the development of blogging.

July 5

Zhang Miao'e, a girl who was seriously sick then, sought for help on Tianya Zatan, a column of, and a donation campaign was soon organized to help her. The head of the column Wu San Jian Tian Shan posted a controversial post about the event and caught the attention of domestic media.

September 1

The 3rd China Internet Conference was held in Beijing International Convention Center, with the theme of "Build the Internet with Prosperity and Integrity."

From Sep. 20 to 26

The Information Office of Beijing Municipal People's Government and Beijing Association of Online Media jointly launched the Red Journey (to Jiangxi) of Computer-Mediated Media in Beijing., organizing a trip for heads of online media and web news in Beijing to former revolutionary bases in Jiangxi to receive education on patriotism and the revolutionary tradition.

September 27

The story about Xintianji, a user of, and his Hope Primary School was aired on CCTV News channel.

November 7

A blog named "24 Hours Online" posted the news about a murder on Wangfujing Street, the No.1 Street in China. The posting was forwarded by other media and reached a wider audience.

November 8

The 4th Chinese Network Media Forum was open in Nanchang, Jiangxi, under the theme of "Create a Healthy, Uplifting Network Environment."


Hunan TV launched the first Super Girl competition, drawing increasing attention on the Internet.


Robert E. Kahn, one of the pioneers in the Internet industry, visited China. He visited CNNIC and discussed with the latter on behalf of the Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI) over Handle-DNS, the latest technology for assigned names and addresses on the Internet. It showed that China had entered the heart of international studies on Internet address resources.


"Father of the Internet" Vinton Cerf visited China. It was the 10th anniversary of the introduction of Internet into China. Mr. Cerf visited the Network Center of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the birthplace of China's Internet, and contributed his insights into China's Internet development.


Professor Negroponte visited China. His book Being Digital, published in 1994, inspired many Chinese to learn more about the Internet, earning him the reputation of "the Godfather of China's Internet."


Web songs such as "Mouse Loves Rice" and "Two Butterflies" became hit songs across the country, forming a new fad.