China's Online Population Passes 500 Million

Two months ago, China’s Internet Network Information Center reported that the country’s online population had reached 485 million. Now that figure has reportedly passed half a billion. From Xinhua:

Wang Chen, chief of the Information Office of the State Council, made the remarks while addressing the fourth UK-China Internet Roundtable meeting ….

Wang said rural Internet users total 130 million, accounting for 27 percent of all users in China.

“China’s Internet industry has been expanding in scale and has become an important emerging strategic industry,” he said.

Electronic commerce offers nearly 2 million direct jobs and over 13 million indirect ones, he said, noting that electronic government services have promoted the innovation of social services and elevated government efficiency and the level of government openness.

Wang also noted that China now has over 300 million microbloggers.

For more on how the Internet is extending its reach across Chinese society, see Tricia Wang’s presentation Sleeping in Internet Cafes: The Next 300 Million Chinese Users, via CDT.

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