International

Chinese Internet Use Surges Past 450 Million People In 2010

A Chinese customer checks out his newly purchased iPhone 4 at Apple's flagship store in Beijing. Mobile Internet use in China topped 300 million people in 2010. i i

A Chinese customer checks out his newly purchased iPhone 4 at Apple's flagship store in Beijing. Mobile Internet use in China topped 300 million people in 2010. AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption AFP/Getty Images
A Chinese customer checks out his newly purchased iPhone 4 at Apple's flagship store in Beijing. Mobile Internet use in China topped 300 million people in 2010.

A Chinese customer checks out his newly purchased iPhone 4 at Apple's flagship store in Beijing. Mobile Internet use in China topped 300 million people in 2010.

AFP/Getty Images

There were 457 million Internet users in China by the end of 2010, according to a new report from the China Internet Network Information Center. That's more than one-third of the Asian giant's population and 73 million more people than 2009.

By comparison, the entire population of the United States in 2010 was 308 million in 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The report, as covered by the Chinese news agency Xinhua, documents the explosive growth of online commerce and microblogging. But there are also sore spots, including relatively slow Internet access speeds and low penetration in rural areas. Xinhua says the biggest group of users are mobile:

About 66.2 percent of Internet users, or 303 million, used mobile phones to surf the net, an increase of 5.4 percentage points from the previous year, the report said.

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