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70 Percent of China's New Internet Users Log in on their Phones

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, July 23 2013

Since January, China's Internet populace grew to clock in at 591 million at the end of June, according to the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC). Phones are the preferred (or the only) way to surf the net: 70 percent of the new Internet users accessed the Internet on a phone.

Only 35 percent of new users accessed the Internet on desktop PCs and an even smaller portion – 12.7 percent – logged in on a laptop.

Still, in rural areas Internet penetration is low at 28 percent. They are also less likely to use a desktop PC or laptop to access the Internet than urban city-dwellers.

TechInAsia's Steven Millward also points out a significant gender gap in the netizen population, which is 55.6 percent male, and 44.4 percent female.

Writing for PCWorld, Michael Kan points out that the government-linked CNNIC counts Internet users as anyone aged six and up who has been online in the past six months, which leads some to believe their numbers are inflated and misleading.

This trend in China seems to mirror that in other parts of Asia and Africa, where, on average, more than 50 percent of Internet users do not use a PC or laptop.

That explains why Facebook is so eager to get their platform onto simple feature phones, and why everyone from the UN to IBM has been thinking up ways for mobile phones to solve the world's problems.

Personal Democracy Media is grateful to the Omidyar Network and the UN Foundation for their generous support of techPresident's WeGov section.