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China Internet user numbers increase by 51 million in 2012

updated 09:42 am EST, Tue January 15, 2013

Increase in accessing Internet over mobile devices, tablets

Internet use in China has gone up in China, with mobile user numbers increasing in tandem. New figures in a governmental report from the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) estimates that 51 million people joined the Internet in 2012, a 10-percent increase to 564 million users, a figure larger than the populations of the United States, Canada, and Mexico combined.

Of that 564 million figure, 420 million consists of Chinese web surfers opting to use mobile phones, tablets, and other wireless devices to access, itself rising 18.1 percent compared to 2011 numbers, according to the Associated Press. The Internet penetration rate of 42.1 percent is also an increase from 2011, reports TechWeb, rising 3.8 percent.

The proportion of people using Internet cafes has dropped by 5.5 percent, while public school computer use has also decreased 3 percent, showing that users are moving towards acquiring their own private Internet connections instead of using public options. This happens despite a new policy from China's Communist party requiring Internet users to register their real names when signing up for Internet services, along with other measures that are likely to result in heavier censorship of content in the country.

by MacNN Staff



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