Sunday, February 8, 2009

China: Biggest Internet Population

Comscore recently released some statistics on the Internet population. According to their study, the following countries have the greatest number of Internet users:

1. China: 179.7 million
2. United States: 163.3 million
3. Japan: 60.0 million
4. Germany: 37.0 million
5. United Kingdom: 36.7 million
6. France: 34.0 million
7. India: 32.1 million
8. Russia: 29.0 million
9. Brazil: 27.7 million
10. South Korea: 27.3 million

Worldwide, the total current Internet population breaks down by region of the world (by number and percentage of total):

Asia Pacific: 416 million (41.3%)
Europe: 283 million (28.0%)
North America: 185 million (18.4%)
Latin America: 75 million (7.4%)
Middle East & Africa: 49 million (4.8%)

Despite these numbers, its important to note that the number of Internet users is still only about 20% of the world's population. Asia, although well in the lead, also has the greatest growth potential. China and India each have over a billion people that aren't in cyberspace so there's still much room for growth.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Joanna Wang: Taiwanese Singer

While roaming around the ever-addictive Youtube, I came across an interesting Chinese-American singer/songwriter - Joanna Wang (王若琳; Wáng Rùolín). Her music is an interesting combination of English and Chinese language pop, rock, folk and jazz influences, somewhat in the Norah Jones vein. The 20 year old Taiwan-born, Los Angeles-bred songstress has a surprisingly mature voice. Her musical maturity may be partly the result of her family background - her father (Wang Bing) is a successful producer who, in addition to working with his daughter, has produced popular artists including girl group S.H.E and David Tao.

Wang's first album, Start From Here, was released in early 2008 and is comprised of one CD of English songs and another of Chinese songs. Joanna reportedly wasn't thrilled with her first album, feeling that it doesn't represent her true musical influences. Her new album ("Joanna & 王若琳 - her English and Chinese names), released in January 2009, is another 2-CD collection of English and Chinese songs.

Her English language cover songs feature a fairly eclectic mix, including songs by Billy Joel ("New York State of Mind"), The Carpenters ("We've Only Just Begun"), Don Mclean, Paul Simon ("50 Ways to Leave Your Lover"), Bread ("Aubrey"), Paul Anka ("Times of Your Life") and Spandau Ballet ("True").

Unfortunately, her Sony website, although displaying some nice artsy graphics, seems to be in Chinese only. Nowadays many Asian artists have multiple-language versions of their websites and the lack is especially ironic since Ms. Wang records in English. Her music is certainly appealing to English-speakers as well as Chinese so it would seem Sony could do a better job with their online marketing.

You can check out some of Joanna Wang's music at: