China Internet Network Information Center has published the latest report on China's Internet development, which states by the end of 2008, the number of Internet users in China had reached 298 million, a year-on-year increase of 41.9%.
The report says that China's Internet popularity rate reached 22.6%, which exceeded the world's average rate of 21.9% for the first time. In addition, the number of broadband Internet users in China was 270 million and the number of the national .CN domain names increased to 13.572 million, a year-on-year increase of 50.8%.
Compared with the rapid growth of the Internet, China's wireless Internet also grew at a surprising speed. The CNNIC says that as the operators put more attention on the wireless Internet and the costs of mobile phone hardware was decreasing, the number of mobile phone netizens doubled in 2008 compared with that of 2007, reaching 117 million. With the issuance of China's 3G licenses, the wireless Internet is expected to gain a explosive growth in China in the next few years.
The report points out that according to a using rate survey on the Internet applications, online job seeking, blog and online shopping attained the greatest growth while the using rates of some entertainment applications such as online music and online video showed an obvious decline trend.
By the end of 2008, the number of rural netizens in China was 84.6 million, increasing 31.9 million compared with that of 2007 and the growth rate was over 60%
Of all provinces in China, the ones in the western area attained the fastest growth for six out of the eight provinces with a growth rate of over 60% are in the western area.