China internet users hits 800 million

China now has more internet users than Russia, Japan, Mexico and the US combined


A report issued by the Chinese Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) revealed that China has now reached a total of 802 million internet users. The CNNIC, which is the branch of the government responsible the country's .cn domain code, industry and information, also revealed that almost 30 million people came online for the first time in the second half of 2018.

Mobile internet users have been the driving force behind this adoption, with an estimated 788 million Chinese internet surfing on their smartphones, representing 98% of the total internet users in the country. In total, 57.7% of the Chinese population are now regular internet users.

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The report also publicized a more granular look at internet use across the population, with 71% of users had made an online payment for an ecommerce service; 74.1% had owned a short-form video app; 21% had banked online; 30.6% had bike sharing apps; 43.2% had taxi booking apps; and 37.3% had booked other forms of public transport through the internet.

Other than illuminating how integral the internet has now become to Chinese life, it also implies how much pressure the government is potentially under to maintain its control over the internet. Many social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook remain banned in China and with recent reports such as Apple's purge of millions of apps from the Chinese App Store, it does not appear that the Chinese government planned to lift its stringent internet censorship system anytime soon.

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