Editor’s Note: The portion of the Chinese population that is using the internet is growing rapidly in the wake of a booming economy. At the same time, the ways in which people are using the internet are changing as are purposes for which they are using it. The China Internet Network Information Center just released a report detailing the changing topography and demographics of the Chinese internet.
The China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) recently released a report titled Statistics on the Current State of Chinese Internet Development. The report shows that as of December 2016 the overall popularity of the internet is indexed at 53.2 percent among the Chinese populous--up 2.9 percentage points from the end of 2015. The number of China’s internet users reached 731 million, increasing by almost 43 million for the year. This number surpasses the global average by 3.1 percent and the Asian average by 7.6 percent and means that there are now more internet users in China than there are people in Europe.
A Mobile Society
As of December 2016, the number of Chinese Netizens accessing the web from their mobile phones numbered 695 million, up 75.5 million from the end of 2015. All in all, those using mobile phones to access the internet comprise 95.1 percent of the total population of internet users, up from 90.1 percent in 2015. Rural internet users, totaling 201 million, lay claim to 27.4 percent of the total population of internet users, an increase of about 5.3 million people from 2015.
Average rates of desktop computer and laptop usage are falling as cellphones become the primary tool for internet access. The gap between mobile and hard-wired internet usage continues to close as resources become more evenly distributed, devices become smarter and the market diversifies.
Around 60 percent of Chinese internet users are using desktop computers to connect to the internet, while 36.8 percent are connecting via laptop. Connection rates by cell phone have reached 95.1 percent, up 5 percentage points from the end of 2015. Tablets currently constitute 31.5 percent of traffic and televisions 20.5 percent.
The “China-wide” Web
As of now, Chinese websites total 4.82 million, of those there are almost 2.6 million “.cn” sites. Ninety nine percent of Chinese enterprises utilize computers to do business while those that use the internet for their work add up to a bit more than 95 percent. Of these businesses, 93.7 percent routinely connect to the internet via broadband, while 32.3 percent are using mobile broadband. Almost 40 percent of companies now use the internet for marketing and advertising, 45.3 percent use it for sales and 45.6 percent for purchases.
Accounts with mobile payment platforms are near 470 million, with an annual rate of increase of 31.2 percent. As expected, usage of mobile payment platforms has increased from 57.7 percent to 67.5 percent among Netizens. Taking into account that mobile payment systems are rapidly taking over the field of online payment and the rich abundance of places in which they are now accepted, its no wonder that 50.3% of internet users are now using mobile payment applications to complete online transactions.
Numbers of rides booked online have increased by 46.2 million, now totaling 168 million. As a representative of sharing economy services, it is helping to invigorate automotive resources, making strides in fulfilling customers travel needs and, in the wake of some newly instituted government policies, the industry is entering a period of standardization and development.
Further indicated by the report, 238 million (32.5 percent) of Chinese Netizens have used the internet for philanthropy. New models of making donations, crowd funding and fund raising online are making such acts more convenient, more numerous and more transparent.
There were a total of 91 online enterprises, with a total market value of 5.4 trillion RMB, on the Chinese marketplace by the end of 2016. Of these companies, the sum total of Alibaba’s and Tencent’s market value comprises a whopping 3 trillion, meaning that 57 percent of the total value of China’s online business marketplace is occupied by the two giants.
A Thriving Internet
2016 bore witness to a comprehensive popularization of computers, the internet and broadband for business purposes--reaching respective rates of 99 percent, 95.6 percent and 93.7 percent. Compared with last year, these rates are up 3.8 percentage points for computer usage, 6.6 for internet and 7.4 for broadband. Additionally, in information communication, financial and human resource management applications, the online activity of businesses exhibits an average upward trend.
Development of online sales and purchases both saw an increase of more than 10 percentage points in 2016, reaching respective rates of 45.3 percent and 45.6 percent. During the current trend of rapid integration of traditional and new media, the internet is playing an evermore important role in business’s systems of marketing with 38.7 percent of marketing now done online. Additionally, 60 percent of enterprises have established information based systems, up 13.4 percent over last year. As the supply chain grows, businesses are attaching increasing importance to the role of the internet.
Source: QQ News
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