China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) published a report on the state of internet penetration and usage by the Chinese population. Out of a total of more than 1350 million Chinese, 632 million use the Internet. In the first half of 2014, only 14.4 million new users have been recorded. For any other country, maybe except for India, this number would be very impressive, but for China it is a sign that the Internet adoption rate is slowing down. Right now, the rate of Internet penetration is 46.9 percent, while for the U.S. the rate goes up to 87 percent. The Chinese Government is preoccupied with the citizens’ online safety; it accused Apple of handling the private data of Chinese citizens in an unreliable way.
We have all seen the photos of the new Chinese cities expanding at extreme speeds. Most of China, however, is still rural. Even though the urban population doubled in the last 25 years, from 26 to 52 percent, the rural population has a low level of education and does not access the internet. CNNIC thinks that the government should introduce basic Internet skills for rural pupils. Overall, going from 94 million Internet users to 632 million in just a decade is an impressive performance.
Chinese Internet users prefer the smartphone as Internet accessing device
It seems that for most of the Chinese Internet users, smartphones are the usual devices used to access the net. Out of the 632 million Chinese Internet users, 527 million went online from their smartphones. The trend indicated that the notebook and PC are no longer the preferred devices to do the job. Or maybe now, that smartphones are getting cheaper and cheaper, while having increased performance, the Chinese Internet users who do not own laptops or desktop, use the smartphone as the only Internet access device.
The CNNIC reports that during the first half of 2014 meant a reduction in the usage of social networking websites. So 257 million people accessed social networking sites, significantly fewer than the 278 million figure from last December. The Great Firewall of China, erected by the government, restrains the Chinese Internet users from accessing the classical social networking pages such as Facebook and Twitter. In 2018, a total of 1.8 billion smartphones are expected to ship worldwide. Out of them, a third is believed that will go the Chinese customers, according to Reuters.