China has whopping 591 million internet users

China has whopping 591 million internet users

China's population of internet users, the largest in the world, continues to grow touching 591 million at the end of June, the country's network information centre said today.

Out of all the netizens, 78.5 per cent, or 464 million, use mobile phones to access the Internet, up four percentage points compared with the end of 2012, according to a report issued by China Internet Network Information Centre (CNNIC).

Some 69.5 per cent of the country's netizens access the Internet through their desktops, and the ratio was down 1.1 percentage points compared with the beginning of the year, the centre said.

Despite the massive growth, China's internet is regarded as one of the slowest in the world due to heavy firewalls built to screen the content.

Along with the growth of the internet, China's microblog networks, regarded as the new media challenging the hold of the officials, also posted high growth with over 300 million using Sina Weibo, the Chinese-style Twitter.

The CNNIC report said the country's mobile phone netizens have developed a heavy reliance on their devices as they each spent an average of 11.8 hours per week to go online.

This also helped trigger an increase in mobile phone-related e-commerce, including online shopping, payment and banking, which grew 3.3 per cent, 3.9 per cent and 2.7 per cent respectively compared with the end of last year, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

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