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Shanghai women to get free IT training

A million residents in the Shanghai are set to receive IT training over the next few years as part of efforts to make the metropolis a "digital city." The massive education campaign is expected to take three to five years and aims to equip citizens with basic technology skills in areas such as computer usage and the operation of television set-top boxes, China's Xinhua newswire reported. It is targeted mainly at urban residents, in particular, the most IT-unschooled such as women aged 35 to 60, said the report.

In addition to computerizing government and corporate sectors, getting households up to speed in technology is another important step towards making Shanghai a "digital city" by 2007, Han Zheng, the city's mayor, was quoted as saying. As of December last year, Shanghai has an Internet penetration rate of 32 percent with an online population of 4.2 million. Of this, about 350,000 are using broadband services, said the report.

CNET Asia staff reported from Singapore.