The number of Chinese internet users is nearly equal to the entire population of Europe – and 95 per cent of these users are on mobile, according to the China Internet Network Information Centre (CNNIC).
The report, from China’s administrative agency responsible for internet affairs, says that China had 731m internet users – or 53.2 per cent of the population – as of December 2016. Europe’s population sits at around 740m.
Overall, China saw a 6.2 per cent increase of internet users year-on-year – gaining 42.99m new internet users in 2016.
Of these internet users, 695m use the internet on a mobile device – which equates to almost half of China’s 1.4bn population.
CNNIC says: “Desktop computers and notebook computers have declined usage, as mobile phones continue to squeeze the use of other personal internet devices.”
China saw 469m of mobile phone users using online payments – a growth rate of 31.2 per cent year-on-year (YoY). The proportion of mobile phone users using online payments increasing from 57.7 to 67.5 percent. While 50.3 per cent of internet users used their phones at a store to pay while shopping.