Chinese internet users surge to 802 million in test of government’s ability to manage world’s biggest online community

August 21, 2018
Industry News
Content Provided By:


------------
Iris Deng
iris.deng@scmp.com

China is home to the world’s biggest online community, with about two in five Chinese still offline

There are now as many internet users in China as there are people in the United States, Indonesia and Brazil combined.

While two in five Chinese are still offline, the country’s internet population has grown big enough to open huge market opportunities for hi-tech companies, and provide the government with better access to keep watch over its citizens, according to an analyst.

China surpassed the 800-million mark for the number of internet users for the first time, further cementing its position as home to the world’s biggest online community, as the country kept up its investment in infrastructure and pushed to lower access fees.

The number of internet users in China rose by 30 million in the first half of this year to 802 million, representing a penetration rate of 57.7 per cent, according to a report by state agency China Internet Network Information Centre (CNNIC) released on Monday. All but 1.7 per cent of the users access the internet through mobile devices, according to the report.

“[Expansion of internet access] is a double-edged sword. It’s good for internet companies, and good for the government if they want to control the population better, but it also means there are more risks,” said Shaun Rein, the managing director at China Market Research Group. “It’s easier for a lot of criminals to push gambling, pornography or drugs because it is such a large internet market.”

As of June this year, seven in 10 Chinese internet users have shopped and paid for purchases online. About 566 million people use mobile payment, an increase of 7.4 per cent compared with six months earlier.
Continue Reading 

 

About South China Morning Post 

South China Morning Post is a leading global news company that has reported on China and Asia for more than a century. Founded in 1903, SCMP is headquartered in Hong Kong, where it is the city’s newspaper of record, with a growing correspondent staff across Asia and the United States.Its editorial teams are powered by emerging digital technologies to create innovative ways to tell Asia’s most important and compelling stories.

Against the backdrop of shifting discovery and consumption behaviours, SCMP reaches users across distributed media platforms including scmp.com, smartphone and tablet apps, social media and messaging platforms, as well as our flagship newspaper.  SCMP is also home to Abacus, a digital news brand focused on China's tech industry; Inkstone, a daily news brief for those curious about China's growing impact around the world; and Goldthread, a content platform with a focus on food, travel and culture in China.
 

For further information, please contact us