China's online population hits 513m

Updated: 2012-01-17 09:56


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BEIJING - China had 513 million Internet users by the end of 2011, showing that 38.3 percent of Chinese people used the Internet, the country's network information center said Monday.

The China Internet Networks Information Center (CNNIC) said in a report posted on its website that the ratio was 4 percentage points higher compared to the previous year.

The report said the growth of China's Internet population has slowed from that of the past five years.

Since 2006, the proportion of Internet users to the country's total population rose by an average of around 6 percentage points annually.

"Further growth of the Internet population is going to be difficult, as those who have access to the Internet and the skills to use it have almost all turned into Internet users," the statement said.

People surfing the Internet with cell phones increased 17.5 percent year-on-year to 356 million by the end of last year.

There were 194 million Chinese people shopping online in 2011, up 20.8 percent from a year earlier, the report said.

China has the largest online population in the world as well as 23 percent of the world's total Internet users, according to the latest data from Internet World Stats.