China has become the world’s biggest market for personal computers according to IHS, with 69 million units shipped in 2012 compared with 66 million in the U.S.. From the BBC:
Laptops are the fastest rising sector in developed markets and have overtaken PCs, but in China the sale of desktops and laptops is evenly split.
[…] Peter Lin, senior analyst for computer platforms at IHS, said: “The equal share of shipments for desktop [PCs] and notebooks [lightweight laptops] in China is unusual, since consumers in most regions today tend to prefer more agile mobile PCs, rather than the bulky, stationary desktops.
“The relatively large percentage of desktop PC shipments in China is due to huge demand in the country’s rural areas, which account for a major segment of the country’s 1.34 billion citizens.
[…] The Chinese government is investing heavily in computer infrastructure, and plans to spend around 40 trillion yuan ($6.4trn; £4.2trn) building rural infrastructure in the next 10 years.
As PC ownership rises and home broadband and mobile data connections spread, Internet cafés have declined. China’s Ministry of Culture reported on Saturday that their numbers fell almost 7% compared with last year, the first drop in eight years, and that revenues are also shrinking.