For half of households, the virtual world is now a reality
More than half of Hong Kong households now have a computer connected to the Internet.
The latest snapshot on private computer and Internet use came in a government study which found 1.3 million households - or 62 per cent of all households in Hong Kong - have a personal computer at home.
Of these, 1.12 million households - or 53 per cent of all Hong Kong households - are connected to the Internet, up from 48.7 per cent last year. This means 85 per cent of all household computers are connected to the Worldwide Web, up from 80 per cent last year.
About 3.37 million residents aged 10 or above have basic knowledge of how to use a computer, according to the annual census survey, launched in 2000.
Yung Kai-tai, general manager of the Productivity Council's information technology infrastructure department, said the findings were creditable because computers and the Internet were now part of Hong Kong people's lifestyle.
'Almost all youngsters educated in primary and secondary schools must now have some knowledge of computer operations, and most of them have a computer at home,' said Mr Yung, who is not connected to the government survey.
'Computers are cheap - for $6,000, you can get a pretty powerful one, and the cost of Broadband services is also coming down. For a few hundred dollars a month, you can get Broadband.'
There are 1.6 million registered dial-up (slow connection) Internet users and another 868,753 who are registered for Broadband services.