Internet use in China – additional information
Off the around 2.9 billion internet users worldwide as of 2014, China accounted for more than 20 percent. However, compared to its total population, China’s internet penetration rate is lower than in other Asian countries. As of the end of 2013, internet penetration in China ranged at 45.8 percent. Penetration rates in both South Korea and Japan were extensively higher.
Internet usage in China is further characterized by a large regional discrepancy. Whereas more than 75 percent of Beijing inhabitants used the internet by the end of 2013, only some 30 percent of the population of Yunnan, a province located in the southwest of China, had access to internet.
As in other parts of the world, widespread use of smartphones, tablet computers and other electronic devices has had a massive impact on internet access for the Chinese populace. The number of mobile internet users in China ballooned from some 50 million in 2007 to 500 million in 2013, and it continues to grow. Since June 2014, more Chinese people access the internet via mobile device than via computers. Meanwhile, mobile shopping and mobile payment win increasing popularity. Alibaba Group, which went public at the New York stock exchange in September 2014, had been one of China’s first internet pioneers and currently is the largest operator of online shopping sites and payment platforms in China. Alibaba’s net income had surpassed the combined profit of Amazon and EBay during the second quarter of 2014.