China Internet population reaches 632 million

Jul 21, 2014
A man uses a laptop at an office of Sina Weibo, China's equivalent to Twitter, in Beijing on April 16, 2014

China is now home to 632 million Internet users, a government agency said Monday, although use of social networks has dropped amid a crackdown.

The Asian giant's Internet population—defined as those who have gone online at least once in the past six months—has increased by 14 million since January, according to the China Internet Network Information Centre (CNNIC).

Mobile phone users represent a large share of the online population, the centre said, with 527 million people in China accessing the Internet using in the six months to June.

But even as the number of users of services such as online games, banking and shopping continued to rise, use of social networks declined, the report said.

According to CNNIC, 257 million people used sites during the period, down from 278 million in its last set of figures in December—a 7.4 percent drop.

The fall coincides with a crackdown over the past year on social media sites such as Sina Weibo, a Chinese Twitter equivalent, and Tencent's WeChat, an instant messaging platform that allows users to send text, photos, videos and voice messages over mobile devices.

China already had more web users than any other country in the world. It is home to a huge e-commerce market and the web has been used by citizens to spotlight government abuses, creating a concern for the ruling Communist Party.

People sit around laptop computers at a cafe in Beijing on May 29, 2013

Beijing maintains tight controls over the Internet, blocking websites it deems politically sensitive in a system dubbed the "Great Firewall of China" and obliging social media companies to censor user-generated content.

Explore further: China web users surge to 618 million

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

China web users surge to 618 million

Jan 16, 2014

The number of web users in China has surged to 618 million, a government agency said Thursday, underscoring the rapid growth of online connectivity in the country with the world's largest Internet population.

China heightens crackdown on WeChat messaging

May 28, 2014

China's ruling Communist Party is launching a new crackdown on popular instant messaging platforms including Tencent's WeChat, state media said on Wednesday, the latest in a series of moves to stifle online ...

China loses 27.8 million microblog users in 2013 (Update)

Jan 17, 2014

The number of online microblog users in China dropped by more than 27.8 million last year, marking the first major decline in popularity of a social media genre that has offered a way to share unfiltered information in a ...

WeChat: China's popular mobile messaging app

Feb 20, 2014

As Facebook snaps up smartphone messaging service WhatsApp for a monumental $19 billion in cash and shares, focus has turned to its rivals. Here are some background facts about China's popular mobile messaging applicatio ...

Crackdown hits popular China messaging platform WeChat

Mar 14, 2014

Chinese Internet giant Tencent has shut several accounts on its popular instant messaging platform WeChat, users said Friday, in what appeared to be part of a broader government crackdown on political content.

Mobile phones trump computers among online Chinese

Jul 19, 2012

Mobile phones have overtaken computers as the most popular device for getting online in China, the government said Thursday, as it announced the number of web users had hit 538 million.

Recommended for you

Twitter looks to weave into more mobile apps

8 hours ago

Twitter on Wednesday set out to weave itself into mobile applications with a free "Fabric" platform to help developers build better programs and make more money.

Google unveils app for managing Gmail inboxes

9 hours ago

Google is introducing an application designed to make it easier for its Gmail users to find and manage important information that can often become buried in their inboxes.

Fighting cyber-crime one app at a time

14 hours ago

This summer Victoria University of Wellington will be home to four Singaporean students researching cyber threats. The students have been working with Dr Ian Welch, a lecturer in Victoria's School of Engineering and Computer ...

Is big data heading for its 'horsemeat moment'?

16 hours ago

There have been so many leaks, hacks and scares based on misuse or misappropriation of personal data that any thought that "big data" could provide benefits rather than only opportunities for harm may be ...

User comments : 0