Media officials and editors from around the region exchanged notes on new media with their Chinese host as they sought ways to harness the technology at the fourth Asean-China Media Cooperation Seminar in Beijing today.
Hosted by the People's Daily, the three-day seminar focused on the current development of new websites, trends and applications of new media technology.
In his address, People's Daily President Zhang Yannong described the relationship between traditional media and new media as "interwoven partners".
"Although new media has changed the pattern of information dissemination and the situation of the media industry, the content is of the highest priority and is still the nature of information transmission.
"In fact, traditional media remains the "content providers" for many news websites, which is the advantage that we live by.
"New media should not be opponents to traditional media, but our partners to create a win-win situation.
"New media will bring new vigour and vitality to traditional media, and it will make us even more influential than ever before through multimedia and other new technologies."
Vice Minister at the State Council Information Office Qian Xiaoqian said China's Internet users had reached 384 million, with an Internet penetration rate of around 29 per cent, exceeding the world average. China began to have access to Internet in 1994.
He said that at the current pace of development, in the next two to three years, the number of Chinese Internet users was expected to be more than 500 million in the next two to three years.
Among new Internet users in China, 75 per cent were in rural areas, which indicated that China was rapidly bridging the digital divide urban and rural areas.