China's online population rises to 457m in 2010
China's online population rose to 457 million in 2010 as use of mobile phones to surf the Web spread rapidly, accordingly the internet coverage of the Chinese nation rose to 34.3% from 28.9% in 2009.
The number of Internet users in China reached 457 million at the end of 2010, meanwhile, the number of websites registered in China fell by 41 per cent last year, according to a report by China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC).
January 19, 2010, Beijing - China's online population rose to 457 million in 2010 as use of mobile phones to surf the Web spread rapidly, an industry group reported Wednesday.
China's population of Internet users - a group more than 50 percent larger than the whole US population - grew 19 percent in 2010 over the previous year, said the state-sanctioned China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC).
The growth, while impressive, is a slow down from the previous year and points to a gradual maturing of the Internet market in China.
Last year's addition of 73 million people represents a 19 percent growth on 2009, when the Internet population expanded by 86 million people or 28 percent. In 2008 it grew by 88 million, equivalent to a 41 percent increase. The first major surge in the Internet user base occurred in 2007 with the addition of 73 million users for growth of 53 percent.
Internet usage from desktop PCs, laptops and cell phones all increased during 2009. China's Internet population includes 303 million users who use mobile handsets to go online, an increase from the 230 million figure a year ago.
China has the world's largest Internet population, making it a major market for IT businesses. In 2009, the country's Internet user base surpassed the U.S. population. This year the number of mobile Internet users is poised to surpass that figure, which stands at 311 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Using search engines, listening to music, and reading news were the top three most popular activities for Web users in the country. Micro-blogging is done by 13.8 percent of Chinese Internet users, while group buying is at 4.1 percent.
The number of online shoppers soared by 49 per cent year-on-year to 161 million, it said.
While growth has slowed, more than half the population is still not online.
The bulk of China's Internet users live in urban areas. Web users from China's rural areas were 125 million, making up about 27.3 percent of China's total Internet user population.
The number of websites registered in China fell by 41 per cent last year, the China Internet Network Information Centre said it counted 1.91 million websites at the end of 2010, down from the 3.23 million it reported a year earlier.
The website number droped 41% to 1.91 million
The loss of 1.3 million websites was mainly because of government enforcement of 'security management,' the centre said without elaborating.
A report last month said authorities closed about 60,000 websites and deleted about 350 million documents, photographs and videos during a one-year campaign against 'pornographic or vulgar' content.
'The hard-won achievements further purified the internet,' Wang Chen, director of the State Council Information Office, told state media.
Online: China Internet Network Information Center: http://www.cnnic.net.cn
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