China's Internet population hits 538 million

Number of Chinese online video viewers grew to 350 million in end-June, higher than total online population of 302 million in the United States.

According to the latest "Statistical Report on Internet Development in China" released by the China Internet Network Information Center on Thursday, the number of Internet users in the country reached 538 million by the end of June, up from 485 million a year ago. 

Online penetration rate also grew to 39.9 percent, up from 36.2 percent, over the same period. 

Mobile Internet usage continued to expand in China while the number of broadband users shrank over the past two years. The total number of mobile Internet users reached 388 million, up 22 percent from 318 million registered last year, accounting for 72.1 percent of all online users.

Broadband Internet users in China, however, continued to decline over the past two years. By end-June this year, the total number of broadband users was only 380 million, contracting 70 million or 15.5 percent from the previous peak of 450 million recorded in end-2010.

The total number of domain names in China currently stands at 8.73 million, among which 3.98 million are ".cn" URLs. The number of IPv6 addresses in China ranked third in the world, after Brazil and the United States, according to the report.

The number of mobile phone shoppers reached 37.37 million, up 59.7 percent over just six months from 23.47 million in end-2011. Those who actually made payments via their devices surged 45.2 percent to 44.4 million, up from 30.58 million in late-2011.

The number of Chinese online video watchers also grew 25 million over the past six months to reach 350 million by end-June, which was higher than the total population of 302 million in the U.S..

The number of Chinese people who used mobile phones to watch online video reached 100 million, the report indicated.