China’s Online Population Hits 800 Million
China’s online population surpassed 800 million in June, with the numbers of people using the internet to manage their finances or hail rides expanding particularly quickly in the first half, a think tank report showed.
As many as 802 million Chinese were connected as of June 30, accounting for nearly 58% of the country’s population of 1.4 billion,
The number of users on June 30, 2017, was 751 million, or over 54% of the population. The country topped half its population online in December 2015, with 688 million users.
The ongoing saturation and subsequent low prices in China’s cellphone market means that even more people are choosing to browse the web on their phone than ever before, further entrenching the dominance of this method of surfing the internet, the report found.
As of June 30, more than 98% of internet users used their mobile devices to get online, compared with over 96% as of June 30, 2017 and just over 90% as of Dec. 31, 2015.
This was well ahead of the numbers of web users using desktop PCs to access the internet in June — 48.9%, down from 53% in December — and even further ahead of the numbers of people using laptops — 34.5%, down from 35.8% in December.
The report also delved into over 20 types of online behavior; for example, how many people use the internet to read news, listen to music, play games or carry out banking transactions.
It singled out three uses of the internet that that saw the fastest expansion since the start of the year: financial management, private-car hailing and taxi hailing.
The number of people using the internet to manage their finances was 30.9% larger in June compared with the end of December, while the number of people using the web to hail private cars grew by 26.5% and those going online to call a taxi rose 20.8%.
The think tank said 169 million people took to the internet to borrow money, purchase insurance plans or facilitate banking transactions, among other financial activities.
In terms of ride-hailing services, the numbers of people using the web to call taxis or private cars hit 346 million and 299 million respectively.
“Ride-hailing platforms have helped alleviate the issue of not being able to get a ride,” the center said. “The strong demand prompted the user base to grow, and the entrance of the authorities to monitor the booming sector also contributed to that.”
Contact reporter Jason Tan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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