Penetration rate of internet users in China 2008-2018

The graph shows the internet penetration rate in China from December 2008 to December 2018. As of December 2018, about 59.6 percent of the Chinese population had used the internet. The penetration rate denotes the share of the population that has access to a certain communication medium.

Internet penetration in China – additional information

According to the graph at hand, the share of internet users in China’s total population had reached nearly 60 percent as of the end of 2018. For comparison, the worldwide average internet penetration rate had resided at about 57 percent as of January 2019. The internet penetration in China had also been above the average rate in the Asia-Pacific countries.

Over the past decade, the number of internet users in China has grown at a remarkable pace. By the end of 2018, the total volume of internet users in China had amounted to approximately 829 million, an increase by 56.5 million users compared to the previous year.

Apart from extended access to broadband internet connections, mobile internet took up a large share in internet user growth. As of 2018, the share of users accessing the internet via mobile device had significantly exceeded the share of those going online via desktop in China. About 98.6 percent of Chinese internet users accessed the web via mobile phone.

However, neighbor countries such as Japan and South Korea had displayed substantially higher internet penetration rates than China. Internet usage in China had faced a large regional disparity. As of 2016, eastern coastal areas like Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangdong province had an internet penetration of over 70 percent, whereas some of the remote western regions had shown penetration rates of below 45 percent.

Penetration rate of internet users in China from December 2008 to December 2018

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Release date

February 2019



Survey time period

December 2008 to December 2018

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Statistics on "Internet usage in China"

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