SHANGHAI: China's Internet users surged to 8.9 million as of the end of 1999, up sharply from 2.1 million a year earlier and 4.0 million at end-June 1999, according to a semiannual report from the government-run China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC). Of the total users, 1.09 million go online through leased line connections, 6.66 million logon through dial-up connections, and 1.15 million use both, according to the report. Cyber-surfers using equipment such as mobile telephones and other personal electronic devices were pegged at 200,000, it said. The CNNIC data confirms recent domestic press reports saying China's Internet users grew to more than 8 million by the end of 1999, and appears to accord with predictions that the number will climb to more than 20 million by the end of this year. The report showed that 79% of China's Internet users are male, and that the majority -- 42.8% -- fall in the 18-24 age group. Those between 25 and 30 represent the second largest age group, coming in at 32.8%, it said.