Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Happy Chinese New Year! Half a Billion Internet Users!

Global Times, a leading English news periodical in China, reported last week that the number of Internet uses in China surpassed half a billion by the end of last (calendar) year, according to the China Network Information Center. According to the report, China now counts 513 million Internet users, up from about 457 million at the end of 2010, about 12% growth.

The question I've been trying to answer is how many of these 513 million users have IPv6 addresses vs. IPv4 addresses? As yet I have been unsuccessful in answering my own question. But I've found that Mike Leber from Hurricane Electric publishes a daily Global IPv6 Deployment Progress Report. This report lists the TLDs with IPv6 (surprisingly only 85.9% have IPv6 addressable name servers today), a summary of A and AAAA records for "next level domains" for each TLD, a summary of advertised autonomous systems (ASes) for IPv6 networks, top websites available over IPv6 and more.

The top websites statistic is an interesting one, which today indicates that about 1.1% of the top 1 million websites as reported by Alexa, publishes at least one AAAA record to advertise IPv6 reachability. I view this statistic as the "supply side" of the IPv6 supply and demand relationship. The "demand side" would be represented by the number of IPv6 user devices, or my as yet unanswered question, not only for China but worldwide. At some point in time, I expect this demand side will reach a level where organizations will want to participate in supplying IPv6 content. But having visibility to this demand curve is necessary to make this decision. So I'll keep fishing around but if anyone has any suggestions, please share them!

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