China has 688 million netizens, mostly mobile users

Science and Tech

New figures released Friday by the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) revealed that as of December 2015 the number of Chinese people using the Internet had reached 688 million – an increase by 39.51 million compared to 2014.
The numbers reflect that more than half of China’s population can now be called “netizens” – and among the ones connected to the Internet, 90.1 percent of them are linked to the Web with their cellphones.

Cell Phones have played an important role in driving that growth. The scale of China’s mobile phone users reached 620 million by December 2015, and those accessing the Internet only through their phones reached 127 million, accounting for 18.5 percent of overall Internet users, according to the report.

Chinese people’s intimate relationship with their mobile phones and the Internet is credited to the booming mobile Internet application market, which provides services covering all aspects of daily life such as business transaction, entertainment, education, healthcare and transportation.

The convenience provided by online services have also contributed to the surge in the number of mobile phone users using their devices to make online payments – the number stood at 358 million by December 2015, a yearly increase of 64.5 percent.

Acknowledging the enormous power of the Internet, Chinese government is pursuing an “Internet Plus” action plan that seeks to drive economic growth by integrating traditional industries with Internet technologies, a strategy proposed by Premier Li Keqiang in his 2015 Government Work Report. The aim of the plan, Li said, is to promote innovation-driven development and upgrade China from being a “big industrial country” to a “powerful industrial country.”

Story by CCTV NEWS.