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Internet Explorer Microsoft China Software Stats

IE6 Still Going Strong In China 158

RackNine writes "Net Applications estimates that IE6 has a share of 33.8% in China, StatCounter estimates about 40.2%. Consider the fact that there are currently about 477 million Internet users in China and you get 160 to 192 million IE6 users. That is potentially more than all Internet users in Africa and the Middle East combined (187 million)."
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IE6 Still Going Strong In China

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  • ...and StatCounter also reports that Windows XP - the most frequently pirated OS in existence - is still powering along at 81% Coincidence? Nay, I think not: []

    • But couldn't they be running a somewhat modern version of Firefox? I know recent versions don't run on XP, but certainly there's something more capable than IE6 that will run on XP. IE7? IE8? Opera? Chrome? Are the Chinese really so lazy as Americans that they can't be bothered to upgrade beyond the default browser?
      • by stms ( 1132653 )

        They may just be too lazy to figure out how to activate which can be pretty complex if you're not willing to pay. Which means they may be stuck with SP1 or even worse no service pack. I can't remember if Firefox 3+ requires a service pack or not but I know a lot of applications require Windows XP SP2.

      • by Firehed ( 942385 )

        China is going through the same thing we more or less fixed about... six or seven years ago. Websites are coded to IE6 because everyone uses IE6, and everyone uses IE6 because that's the only thing that will render these websites "correctly".

        Between that and the Great Firewall, China might as well be considered as having its own version of the Internet.

        • by Keruo ( 771880 )
          Rendering is not the issue, the main problem is custom activex which is pushed even from government web sites.
      • The recent and future versions of Firefox do run on XP. I think you mixed that up with Win98/Me which is not supported since Firefox 3
        • by obarthelemy ( 160321 ) on Tuesday July 19, 2011 @03:31AM (#36808716)

          The next 10 versions of FireFox will still support XP. That should cover us till the end of next week.

        • But do they support XP before any service packs are installed? Many software packages don't officially support XP "pure" or XP with just service pack 1. If FF needs SP2 and most of the pirate copies over there are still running "pure" or SP1 due to activation issues stopping the service packs installing then FF is not an option.

          Though I think a lot of web based apps like online banking facilities use ActiveX for stuff over there (and in other countries, such as South Korea, too), which locks users into I
      • by rdebath ( 884132 ) on Tuesday July 19, 2011 @02:56AM (#36808576)

        It's only IE8+ that doesn't run on XP.

        All the others run on XP and several of them will still run on 2000 and even 95/98.

        The problem is that activeX seems to be very popular in Chinese websites.

      • by xnpu ( 963139 ) on Tuesday July 19, 2011 @03:14AM (#36808652)

        Chinese websites don't support Firefox, so that's where it ends. E.g. to make payments with Alipay/Taobao you need IE specific ActiveX plugins.

        (Actually they will have unofficial firefox and even linux plugins, but it's hard to find and troublesome to install.)

      • But couldn't they be running a somewhat modern version of Firefox? I know recent versions don't run on XP, but certainly there's something more capable than IE6 that will run on XP. IE7? IE8? Opera? Chrome? Are the Chinese really so lazy as Americans that they can't be bothered to upgrade beyond the default browser?

        i like XP

        • Me too!

          But then again, I work in IT security and make a living fighting malware, so my view might be skewed...

      • by Kjella ( 173770 )

        In short, I don't think the "alternative browser" revolution ever happened in China. About 86% still use IE, the Chinese web is built for IE. They're really in a class of their own here, compare it to say India which is another country that is big and will be ridiculously huge as everybody gets online (July estimates):

        IE: 33.48%
        FF: 32.86%
        Chrome: 29.78%

        It's pretty much the same with search engines, everywhere but China Google has about 90%. In China it's 65% Baidu, 31% Google. They are on the Internet in the

        • by Keruo ( 771880 )
          Maxthon and other popular chinese browsers happily identify themselves as IE6
      • Banks and most e-commerce websites require ActiveX controls thanks to export bans on encryption back in the 1990s. SSL is not preferred as it was only 64 bit until a few years ago. This was also way Apple gave up on Korea a few years back, as Macs were useless due to every site that needed SSL simply required ActiveX a decade ago and most still do today.

        Requiring genuine copies of XP prevents Windows Update to upgrade these users to IE 8 which is much better than IE 6 and at least considered a modern 2009/2

      • Well as a PC repairman I can't comment on the Chinese but I CAN comment on why there is all these "WinXP Razr1911 SP2 corp edition" with no patches...WGA. The pirates KNOW how to update without getting WGA'ed. The people they sell the boxes to? So don't have a clue. So the pirates simply disable all the updates and there ya go. The user thinks their PC is getting slower because it is getting older when in reality it is getting ever increasing piles of malware.

        The current record for malware on a single box

        • I once repaired a computer with no fewer than 250,000 copies of a particular virus (don't recall which) installed. With each virus .exe weighing in at 12KB, that was 3GB of virus code on the laptop (given that this was about 6 years ago, that was a substantial amount of space).

          The machine was a new laptop with XP SP1 installed (so no firewall). On its first day, it was connected to a university LAN for 8 hours non-stop, while a virus was running around the network. The virus did not have code to detect an e

      • I know recent versions don't run on XP

        Running v5 on my XP SP3 work PC right now.

      • Who cares? They work hard to isolate themselves from everyone else, and they have no problems with software piracy. Why should anyone else care about what crappy old software they're using? Maybe one day the great firewall will go up in smoke and they'll have access to the wider internet and realize just how far behind their browsers are. Other than that, it doesn't make a single bit of difference to me what browser they use. The only Chinese people who would be accessing my sites or servers are workin

    • by rdebath ( 884132 )

      Okay, you'd done your duty to the Microsoft propaganda dept.

      Of course, one of the major reasons that the "Tomato OS" is so popular is Microsoft lockin. If you're using a MIcrosoft web server (like Bank of China does ... did?) you really have to use the Microsoft browser for it to work properly but that's far too expensive for the working Chinese. Add to that the fact of the political decision to force the browser into the OS 'shell', ie explorer.exe. and Microsoft have effectively bazookered their feet.

      • Your post sounds more like propaganda than his post...

        • by rdebath ( 884132 )

          I know, I'm not very good at propaganda. But like the best propaganda everything I said is true, however, I've tried to be 'complete', ie not take anything out of context.

          • Except for this:

            If you're using a MIcrosoft web server [...] you really have to use the Microsoft browser for it to work properly

            ...which is completely not true. If you serve up ActiveX controls, then yes, you need IE; however, there's nothing inherent in IIS or ASP.NET that requires IE on the client side.

      • If you're using a MIcrosoft web server (like Bank of China does ... did?) you really have to use the Microsoft browser for it to work properly

        When I ran Apache HTTP Server on Windows Server 2003 inside my employer's intranet, clients running Firefox on Ubuntu had no problem accessing it. Nor have I had a problem reaching public web servers running IIS from my Ubuntu laptop. I've never used IIS in any of my own deployments, but I've been told it still runs PHP applications []. So to what extent does any popular Microsoft web server technology require Internet Explorer?

        • That is IIS using ActiveX extensions, which only work on IE6/7/8

          This effectively stops anyone using many alternative browsers (or IE9), and many use pirated XP (SP0) simply to run IE6 to access these sites ...

          You can run IIS quite easily with no alternate killing extensions, but many sites were actively encouraged to use them (everywhere in the world), in China this has not (yet) stopped and so they still have an IE6 centric Web ...

          • There is nothing in IIS itself that encourages you to use ActiveX - ActiveX is a client-side technology, it has nothing to do with the server.

            • It was caused by earlier versions of IIS, that were packaged with web development systems that encouraged development using ActiveX, back when they thought they could take over the internet by making propitiatory extensions to it ... MS have since depreciated this and now actively discourage it ... but the damage was done

              As you say nothing intrinsic to IIS, but the whole package as sold (Browser/Server/Development system) was touted as a single solution and that encouraged development of systems heavily

              • First of all, please read the disclaimer in my /. profile. After that, if you wish to continue the discussion, let's stick to the facts. Specifically:

                It was caused by earlier versions of IIS, that were packaged with web development systems that encouraged development using ActiveX

                Can you give a specific example of a "web development system that encouraged development using ActiveX"? Before .NET, there was ASP, which was also strictly a server-side technology (it used ActiveScript was based on OLE Automation, which was part of ActiveX - but this has nothing in common with ActiveX use in the browser; unfortunately, a lot of people assume

      • If you're using a MIcrosoft web server (like Bank of China does ... did?) you really have to use the Microsoft browser for it to work properly

        That is BS. IIS, like any other web server, just serves whatever you tell it to serve. If you write valid standard HTML, any browser will be able to handle it, regardless of the server.

        Add to that the fact of the political decision to force the browser into the OS 'shell', ie explorer.exe.

        That's more BS. explorer.exe has nothing whatsoever to do with Internet Explorer - the binary for the latter is iexplore.exe. Furthermore, explorer.exe does not even load IE's rendering engine (mshtml.dll) - this is trivially checked by Process Explorer or any other similar app that shows DLLs loaded in a process.

    • Lots of mainland Internet users don't have access at home, but will use it in Internet cafés instead. I wouldn't be surprised if many of them are still running XP (if a computer ain't broke, don't fix it - that costs too much), with the default IE6.

      Many mainlanders have connection at home or at work as well of course, yet those are used far less intensive than shared computers.

    • Funny you should mention that as Windows 7 is easier to pirate than XP ever was. In fact not only is Windows 7 easier to pirate ( the hacked version floating around doesn't even need a code, and has all versions from Starter to Ultimate on the disc) but if you look up "Tiny7 Rev 09" you'll find a version of Windows 7 that uses less memory than XP while keeping most of the bling except the see through taskbar. How the hell those guys did it I don't know, but I decided to give it a spin on an old off lease office box I was gonna have to wipe anyway. We're talking about a 1.6Ghz with 512Mb of old SDRAM and damned if the OS isn't fricking peppy!

      As for TFA maybe someone in China can answer this next question: Is your banking tied to IE 6 like Korea? I know Korea has been stuck on IE 6 for awhile due to using ActiveX to get around the crypto export rules. Maybe China has the same problem?

      • by xnpu ( 963139 )

        As for TFA maybe someone in China can answer this next question: Is your banking tied to IE 6 like Korea?

        For most banks that matter, yes. For odd reasons the password field uses ActiveX.

        • by tepples ( 727027 )

          For odd reasons the password field uses ActiveX.

          Might it have something to do with historical limits on the strength of encryption that can be exported from the United States to China?

      • Installing a pirate version of windows has never been hard (you could integrate the key with XP too). The problem is keeping it up to date without the risk of running into WGA and/or activation. So while machines sold with legitimate windows strongly encourage (in the first run setup) users to turn on automatic updates machines sold with pirate windows (which probablly won't bother with the first run setup) are likely to have them disabled.

  • poor people, old hw. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gl4ss ( 559668 ) on Tuesday July 19, 2011 @02:19AM (#36808410) Homepage Journal

    doesn't need more explaining than that. also these stats are nothing new, the last time there was blabla confirms it browser blablychro has a blabla marketshare, the stats included these as well.

    • by satuon ( 1822492 )
      Yes, they probably just don't buy new computers and go on using the same hardware for 7-8 years. I'd be curious to see statistics about the average length of the hardware refresh cycle in China.
  • by Anonymous Coward

  • Botnets (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MasaMuneCyrus ( 779918 ) on Tuesday July 19, 2011 @02:30AM (#36808470)

    Is it any wonder why so many botnets command zombie legions in China?

    Is it also any wonder why so much high-profile hacking originates from inside China? (undoubtedly a lot of it does come from Chinese efforts, but anybody that's interested in hacking high-profile targets can just route themselves through China, too)

  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Tuesday July 19, 2011 @02:38AM (#36808496)

    That's kind of funny in comparison to my little corner of the US. On a gardening site I run (so non-techie) I'm currently seeing IE with a 42% market share total. This is down from 51% a year ago, and somewhere around 65% the year before that.

  • About size... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by 51M02 ( 165179 ) on Tuesday July 19, 2011 @02:55AM (#36808574) Homepage

    "...about the size of two football fields, or your average restraining order". -- Adam Savage

    Why always comparing numbers to the size or anything else? In all media there is always the "it's about the size of ..." quote that always seems it does not mean anything related to the subject discussed.

    I know, completely unrelated subject. I missed it by about that much.

  • by Sarusa ( 104047 ) on Tuesday July 19, 2011 @03:04AM (#36808614)

    I'm not sure why you'd care, unless it's that there's that many zombied botnet computers in China already pwned by IE6 vulnerabilities.

    Those users are useless as far as users/views go to anyone but the Chinese government and websites inside China. If Microsoft thinks they can benefit by grovelling and playing nice they'll just get their Google-chasing asses kicked harder later.

    • I thought the same. Target all these IE6 users and you have one hell of a botnet.
      • by Rich0 ( 548339 )

        Yeah, but it is a botnet on the wrong side of the Great Firewall - unless your goal is to take down some server in China. Plus, chances are the Chinese government already has half of those PCs in its own Botnets, and they might not take kindly to anybody borrowing their CPU resources. It isn't like you can send spam, since 80% of all the mail servers already block traffic from China.

  • In countries with a lower average income, the lifetime of computers is significantly longer. And the chinese i worked with usually have an extreme habit of "never touch a running system". And they dont declare a possible virus infection to be a problem.

  • During the 4 short months I was in China, most of the computers I saw were old and running XP. It is no wonder they use IE6. Yes. I believe the statistics from having witnessed it. However, most people visit Chinese sites. Those people in China that surf to western sites and purchase western products on them most likely have better/newer computers running pirated versions of Windows 7. My conclusion is the IE6 users in China are NOT potential customers and therefore irrelevant. So I refuse to develop IE6
    • That might be a mistake depending on your site. Here in North America or even Europe I would ignore IE 6 unless it is a very corporate site. Chinese do buy things online and ActiveX is required there and so are crippled computers with pirates operating systems that Windows Update can't upgrade to IE 8 easily. I know webmasters want to burn all copies of IE 6, but China is different and IE 8 can run in compatibilty mode so coding once for ActiveX and IE 6 is viable. Everyone else does it so it is standard as

  • Still using alot of IE6 even pre SP1 so SSL v2 doesn't work and they are wanting to use more and more 'cloud' solutions in their IT strategy #fail

    • by Lennie ( 16154 )

      You probably mean something else, because SSL v2 is much older and very insecure:

      'version 2.0 was released in February 1995 but "contained a number of security flaws which ultimately led to the design of SSL version 3.0"' []

      • by martin ( 1336 )

        yup I meant SSL V3 - thanks for the correction.

        Still horrendous that many of the UK gvmt are still on IE6, usually as they have so many stupid apps written that break if up don't use IE6. yes IE7 or 8 break the apps as well cos the devs used so many IE6 specifics.

        • by Lennie ( 16154 )

          Luckily Microsoft released IE9 to make life easier... euh... well, not so much. But atleast they will release IE10 with Windows 8. Which means an other new version to support. Should be 'fun'

    • by Rich0 ( 548339 )

      Yup, my workplace is IE6. Didn't really cause problems until maybe a year ago when they started rolling out very Javascript-heavy websites all over the place. So, I use Chrome as much as I can (doesn't cause conflicts and navigates everything quickly), and then when I get to a URL that won't work without ActiveX I copy/paste it into IE6 and go take a bathroom break while the page loads. In IE6 the workflow is more like click link, go grab a cup of water, click link, go type up a document, click link, and

  • by Hermanas ( 1665329 ) on Tuesday July 19, 2011 @04:01AM (#36808870)
    Just a thought, but isn't this because China mainly uses the Maxthon browser, which uses IE6 as its engine (or at least used to, for a looong time)? They built a browser on top of IE6 that has tabs and other modern things, so the user experience isn't as completely shit as plain old IE6.
    • by xnpu ( 963139 )

      Just because some Chinese uses Maxthon, doesn't mean they all do. In fact I've never seen anyone use it in the offices I've visited. Foxmail is huge, but Maxthon? Don't think so.

      • Well, Maxthon claims to have had 500,000,000 downloads [] by 2010. Sounds about right, don't you think? I don't have anecdotal evidence to back my claim, but I asked because I remember reading that Maxthon is one of the biggest browsers in China a few years back, and I know it is/was based on IE6.
        • I have lived in P.R. China since 2006 and I do not recall ever coming across this browser on anyone's machines or in any internet cafes. I am not saying that no one uses it. However, the only browser I ever see anyone using is the Chinese language version of IE.

  • because Baidu [], the most popular search engine over there, is working on a browser of its own [] which guessing by the screenshots is based on Chrom{-e, -ium}.

    • by Rich0 ( 548339 )

      Hmm, the Google Translate of that website has the first feature described as:

      Baidu powerful platform integrating the use of force, as you integrate thousands of popular applications, give you a key touch of the Chaokuaigan experience.

      The third is described as:

      Safe Browsing mode combines sandbox technology and the advantages of protected mode IE will completely isolate your horse with the virus, but also your "Internet sterile environment."

      Well, I guess integrated use of force and a sterile Internet environment are definitely well in keeping with modern China.

      (And yes, I realize these are almost certainly butchered translations...

  • All the damned Security digital video recorders still use fricking Active X for their web control. Every single one of those things are complete crap because that are all China made and they don't put any effort into making the interface work with any browser.

%DCL-MEM-BAD, bad memory VMS-F-PDGERS, pudding between the ears