A survey by an information technology research group in China shows a surprising 10 per cent of mainland Internet subscribers with credit cards have made a purchase over the Internet. The Redfish Group, soon to publish its survey results in conjunction with Hong Kong-based New Century Group, said there were about 70,000 active Internet users in China and the figure would reach 250,000 this year. Redfish spokesman and report author Steve Guerin said information for the Internet in China report was gathered by interviewing more than 40 information systems (IS) managers at academic, business and government sites, as well as collating responses to a bilingual questionnaire sent to individual e-mail accounts. Mr Guerin said the use of credit cards to buy information over the Internet in China was wider than expected. 'Although the majority of credit carders held non-international, non-convertible cards, a surprising number have already embraced Internet shopping,' Mr Guerin said. He said of those surveyed, 42 per cent of Chinese Internet users owned a card. 'A Chinese Internet user at this point represents the early adapters of technology and are more likely to use the newer forms of payment,' Mr Guerin said. He said of Chinese Internet subscribers owning a credit card, 10 per cent had made an on-line purchase, while 34 per cent of foreigners included in the survey said they had made an on-line purchase. He said the 10 per cent figure was higher than expected because of the predominance of English-language shopping sites on the Internet, the lack of secure mailboxes for shipment of physical non-electronic goods into China and the lack of convertibility of many credit cards.