BEIJING -- About four out of 10 Chinese use the Internet, with the country's online population hitting 538 million by the end of June this year, according to a report released by the China Internet Networks Information Center on Thursday.
In the first half of the year, the total number of Chinese Internet users increased by 25 million following rapid expansion in recent years, according to the CNNIC.
China's online population is equal to the combined populations of the United States and Brazil.
Among Chinese who use the Internet regularly, 210 million are online shoppers, with 44.4 million people using mobile phones to pay for their online shopping, up by 14 million from last year.
According to the CNNIC report, mobile phones have overtaken desktop computers as the primary channel for accessing the Internet for some 388 million Chinese.