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Internet adoption rate in rural China 2014-2020

Throughout the past few years, there has been a steady progression in rural China’s internet infrastructures. In March 2020, the internet penetration rate in rural areas in the country increased to 46.2 percent, yet, remained lower than the national level. The internet coverage in urban regions reached 76.5 percent.

The leaps in Chinese telecommunications

Since the 1990s, China has seen a rapid development of telecommunications, mainly driven by the introduction of fiber-optic systems and digital technologies. The Chinese government had been keen on building more telecommunication infrastructures. Between 2014 and 2018, the number of 4G mobile base stations saw a dramatic increase.The internet connection has been extensively expanded to public places. In 2018, about 22 percent of the Chinese users accessed the internet in a public area, representing a three-fold increase compared with a decade ago. It is also worth noting that the download speed of fixed-line broadband in China has been upgraded substantially.

Unleash the rural internet power

Yet among the 564 million rural population in China, less than half of them had access to the internet in 2018. To provide more affordable internet services, measures have been carried out in Chinese villages and small towns to reduce service rates and extend the broadband connection. In March 2020, around 28 percent of internet users were living in rural China. With the enhancement of internet coverage in the countryside, the Chinese online community will see plenty of growth.

Penetration rate of internet in the rural areas of China from 2014 to March 2020

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Release date

April 2020



Survey time period

2014 to March 2020

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