The mainland had made much progress in adopting information and communication technology, but it still had a long way to go, said a report by the Geneva-based World Economic Forum. China jumped 21 notches to No 43 last year, the Global Information Technology Report released yesterday said. The study ranked 82 countries according to how well they have included IT in their economies. 'China has made a lot of progress in the diffusion of information and communication technology,' said Fiona Paua, an economist with the think-tank. 'But the figures that we get don't seem to reflect it. The hard data is divided over the number of people in the population and China has a large population.' That said, mainland regulators in charge of IT came out well, ranking No 3 in the world, way ahead of Hong Kong, where officials in charge of IT were ranked 18. All the ethnic Chinese economies of the world fared well in the ranking of network readiness. Singapore was at No 3, up from 8 in 2001. Taiwan was at No 9, up from 15. Hong Kong was the only exception, at 18, down from 13. 'Hong Kong still shows very competitive strengths,' Ms Paua said. 'It's not a sign to be alarmed about. But Hong Kong clearly does have weaknesses. 'It is weak in terms of the availability of engineers and scientists and its technology firms really lack the ability to innovate.' Hong Kong ranked 50 in its access to a science and engineer labour pool, while its tech companies were ranked No 36 for innovation. The report ranked Finland as No 1 overall, with the US No 2.