The new figures from the China’s government agency China Internet Network Information Center have just been published. What are the new trends in 2014?
A steadily rise of Chinese web users
China is the country with the highest number of web users in the world. The number of Chinese web users (more precisely people who logged on to the web at least once during the previous semester) reached 632 million in June 2014 (by comparison, they were 591 million in July 2013), with a 14 million increase since January 2014 and a 2.3% increase compared to the previous semester.
Mobile devices more frequently used than computers
Among 632 million Chinese web users, 527 million of them (87.7%) logged on to the web via their mobile phone. The number of smartphones and tablets users increased by 5.4% (they were 500 million at the end of 2013). Mobile devices are more frequently used than computers: 81% of web surfers use them to log on to the web.
Social networks less frequently used
Social networks are less frequently used: their use decreased by 7.4%. In the previous semester, 257 million people used social networks, compared to 278 million in the six previous months. This decrease may be explained by a strengthening of repressive measures against Sina Weibo (one of the most influential China’s social networks, equivalent to Twitter) and against WeChat (the instant messaging system from Tencent, which is extremely popular in China). By contrast, trade, games and banking services are gaining ground on the Chinese web.
Google is now inaccessible in China
Censorship from the Chinese government against Google has been recently stepped up: it is now impossible to use Google in China without a VPN (Virtual Private Network). Thus, Google will continue to lose market share in favour of Baidu.
More articles about the Internet in China: