Mobile Internet Usage Hits New Heights in China

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As Internet access spreads across China, its citizens are embracing the mobile Internet as never before.

According to the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), a state-affiliated research organization, 464 million people have mobile access to the Internet. With total Internet penetration at 591 million, that means about four out of every five Internet users are accessing the Internet through their smartphones.

Perhaps even more telling, the report says that seven out of 10 Chinese say they first experienced the Internet on their mobile devices -- not on a desktop computer.

These changes have come only of late. Looking at the first six months of 2013, CNNIC credits the rise of mobile Internet penetration to the expansion of 3G-wireless communication, increases in public and private Wi-fi networks, and innovative apps.

Still, the country seems far away from reaching full Internet penetration through any and all devices. Currently, China's population totals more than 1.35 billion people.

Nonetheless, the country has made strides. As the report notes, the overall penetration rate has grown from 41.1%, to 42.2%. While seemingly small, CNNIC still predicts the number of Internet users to grow to 800 million by 2015.

And, as Internet usage spreads, mobile Internet usage should continue to grow, too.

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