China’s internet population, the world’s largest, reached 632 million by the end of June, at a time when the online industry in the world’s second largest economy showed signs of slowing down for the first time, a report said today. Also Read - Apple Music Lossless, Spatial Audio features with Dolby Atmos coming soon to India
Figures from the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) showed that there were 14.42 million new Internet users in the first six months of the year. Compared to the 53.58 million new Internet users added last year, the increase in the first half of this year was relatively small. According to Liu Bing, the center’s deputy director, this is partly because declining smartphone sales have led to fewer new netizens, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. Also Read - Realme Book, Realme Pad teased, will launch later this year: Details here
Official statistics showed that in the first three months of 2014, shipments of smartphones hit 100 million, down 24.7 percent from the same period last year. About 178 million Internet users were rural residents, accounting for 28.2 percent of the entire online population, the report said. The number of mobile Internet users totalled 527 million as of June 30, up 26.99 million from the end of 2013, the CNNIC report said. According to the report, the 34th of its kind since 1997, Chinese netizens spent a weekly average of 25.9 hours on the Internet, an increase of 0.9 hour from the figure recorded in the second half of 2013. Also Read - Truecaller on Android can now clean up your SMS inbox spam with one tap
In addition to online shopping and entertainment, China’s online population also surfs the Internet for financial and medical services, the report said.