According to IPinfo.io, United States has 1,103,394,048 IPv4 allocated addresses, while China only 342,840,576, despite having four times more population.

Is there any legal/historical/technical reason for this disparity?

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    IP (and the Internet) was a government/academic collaborative experiment that was funded by the U.S. government with U.S universities to solve the inherent problems of circuit -switched networks. – Ron Maupin Mar 27 '20 at 18:10
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    It's not about the population. – joeqwerty Mar 27 '20 at 18:22

Guess who owned a lot of the original large allocations? American companies, educational institutions, and US Department of Defense and other government agencies. There are still a lot of US companies and US states that have an entire /16.

China was just late to the party.

  • Yes, the DoD alone has 72M addresses – Pedro Lobito Mar 27 '20 at 18:50

America developed the Internet as a joint project between US military and key academic and large businesses. It was not originally envisaged to become a worldwide tool to connect everyone and everything.

As you may be aware, an IP(v4) address has 4 sets of numbers. Large organisations could initially get class A addresses, which are where they on IP.x.x.x There were about 126 of them in existence. (The idea is that these could be further broken down in the organisation).

A few orgs having lots of space, can skew things very badly.

(I note that IP addressing mechanisms changed, new blocks became smaller and more flexible in how they were routed).

Thus it is primarily for historic reasons and technical limitations of the initial design and purpose.

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