China’s Internet usage continues to increase, and the country is expected to pass the U.S. this year for the total number of Internet users, according to the People’s Daily Online.
The China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) recently released its "21st Report of China Internet Development," which shows that as of Dec. 31, the total number of Internet users in China had reached 210 million – only five million behind the U.S.
Last year, China's Internet users increased by 73 million, and the annual growth rate reached 53.3 percent.
Nearly 40 percent of new Internet users reside in rural areas, according to the report. CNNIC data shows that the rapid growth in rural areas is an important new aspect of Internet use, and it makes rural areas a big potential consumer market.
Data also shows that the number of broadband Internet users in China reached 163 million as of Dec. 31, accounting for 85.9 percent of total Internet users.
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