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BizReport : Internet : January 16, 2012

China's online population exceeds half a billion

According to new statistics released by the China Internet Network Information Center the number of Internet users in the country now exceeds half a billion.

by Helen Leggatt

A 12% YoY rise in Internet users in China brings today's total number of users to 513 million, according to the government-sanctioned China Internet Network Information Center.

In November 2011 the number of Internet users in China was recorded as 505 million, already more than the entire total population of the U.S. The most recent count shows that figure has already risen to 513 million.

However, with China's Internet penetration rate at just 37.7% there's plenty of room for growth unlike other countries, including the U.S., where Internet penetration is already at around 75%.

The number of households in China with Internet connections rose 18.6% in 2011 compared to 2010 with more than 155 million now connected.

The number of online shoppers in China is also forecast to rise significantly from today's 145 million to 329 million by 2015. The U.S. currently has approximately 170 million. According to Waldemar Jap, a Hong Kong-based partner at the Boston Consulting Group, "There will be an astounding 30 million first-time Chinese consumers shopping online on average every year until 2015".

Tags: China, e-commerce, Internet population, Internet use, online shopping

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