China smartphone owners swell number of internet users

Man uses smartphone on train in China Strong sales of smartphones are helping drive up the number of internet users in China

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China now has 591 million internet users, according to the latest official figures from the country.

The China Internet Network Information Centre added that 464 million citizens accessed the net via smartphones or other wireless devices.

The headline figure marks a 10% rise on last year and indicates 44% of the country's population uses the web and other net services.

The rapid growth is reflected in the valuations of some local tech firms.

Earlier this week the country's most popular search engine Baidu announced it would pay $1.9bn (£1.3bn) to buy 91 Wireless Websoft, a firm that runs two app stores in the country.


A forthcoming flotation of Alibaba, the Hangzhou-based e-commerce giant, is also expected to value the firm at $62.5bn, according to research by Bloomberg.

Western brands have also been keen to target the market, as was highlighted by football team Manchester United's decision to launch a Sina Weibo account earlier this month.

The Twitter-like micro-blogging service reported in February that it had more than 500 million registered users, with about 46 million people using the product on any given day.

Another Chinese firm, Tencent, has said its QQ instant messaging service had an even high number - 798.2 million registered users - at the end of last year.

That is more than China's entire net population, but can be explained by the app's popularity in Indonesia and other parts of Asia as well as the fact that some mainland-based netizens would have registered multiple accounts.

The China Internet Network Information Centre's data on internet use goes back to June 2009 when it says there were 338 million people using the net on the mainland, 320 million of whom were doing so via a mobile device.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 83.


  • rate this

    Comment number 82.

    79.Bambooshoot - ".....Someone need to change their stereotype of China before make a comment."

    Unfortunately that won't happen - Britain is infested with a very vocal minority of right whingers who think they are majority even though all their opinions show sup as minorities in opinions polls.....

    ....they base ALL their opinions on their gut instinct & care not one jot for facts....

  • rate this

    Comment number 81.

    It is interesting to see is just how high the wireless access is to their Internet versus fixed broadband. Untethered access is the future and China is racing ahead. In the UK the government have hopelessly lost their way on the UK's wireless future. Look just how late the UK is with 4G. The government simply has no vision when it comes to mobile broadband.

  • rate this

    Comment number 80.

    After reading some comments here, i realize many people in the "free world" are brainwashed and poisoned by some of their bad media too.

    You really shouldn't read too many tabloid newspaper or magazines.

    Start reading BBC from now.

    Posted from Shaoxing-China

  • rate this

    Comment number 79.

    Well,people in mainland China cannot logo in to Facebook,youtube and Tweet.but we can actually have access to BBC,CNN,Newyork times, washington post. I read BBC every day and have app in my phone.

    Someone need to change their stereotype of China before make a comment.


Comments 5 of 83


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