China's Internet users breach half billion mark

SHANGHAI Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:23am EST

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SHANGHAI (Reuters) - The number of Internet users in China have crossed the half billion mark, reaching 505 million users at the end of November last year, the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) reported.

The Internet penetration rate stood at 37.7 percent, up 3.4 percent over the end of 2010, CNNIC said in a report released late last month. This compares with Internet penetration rates of more than 70 percent for China's more technologically advanced East Asian neighbors, Japan and South Korea.

At the end of November, the number of microblog users exceeded 300 million, jumping from 195 million at the end of June, a CNNIC report released on Wednesday said, according to the official Xinhua News agency.

In December, the Beijing city government said it would tighten control over popular microblogs that have vexed authorities with their rapid dissemination of news, giving users three months to register with their real names or face legal consequences.

Sina Corp, the dominant force in China's microblogging, or Weibo, scene, is said to be contemplating the ways it can implement this rule in order to verify users' identities.

(Reporting by Melanie Lee)

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Comments (1)
AmFuzzy wrote:
I question these statistics for a couple of reasons. if youy look at the population statistics from the Chinese government there are approximately 665.57 million people living in URBAN areas. I doubt those in RURAL China even have access to the Internet. SO that would mean almost 80+ percent of EVERY SINGLE man, woman and child in those URBAN areas is using the internet. Does this sound reasonable to you? 13+% are over the age of 60. How many over 60y/o in China do you think are accessing the Internet and how many under the age of 8 are? the numbers don’t add up.

Jan 11, 2012 4:28pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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