The number of Internet users in China today is growing at the startling rate of more than four and a half million per month. According to government research organization China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), over 54 million new people became Internet users in China in 2013. The total number of Internet users in China grew from 564 million at the end of 2012 to just under 618 million at the end of 2013. This means that 45.8% of China’s population now has access to the Internet

China

Most Chinese access the Internet via mobile devices

The smartphone revolution has come to China with a vengeance. As of the end of 2013, 81% of Chinese Internet users accessed the web via a mobile device, up from 74.5% in 2012. A remarkable 73.3% of new Internet users access the web via mobile in China, leading CNNIC to state that mobile devices are “main driving force for the growth of Internet users in China.”

China declines in microblogging

China has been a hotbed of microblogging for the last several years, but apparently the trend has peaked. Kaylene Hong of TNW elaborates on the decline of microblogging in a blog posted today. “A particularly interesting statistic is that as of end-2013, the number of microblogging users actually fell by 27.8 million users, while usage declined by 9.2 percentage points. Comparatively, microblogging users had jumped in 2012 to reach 309 million at the end of the year, up 58.73 million from 2011.”

Increase in instant messaging

Hong also points out that as of December 31, 2013, more than 532 million of the 618 million Internet users in China used online instant messaging, representing a year-over-year increase of 64.4 million users. This also means that an astounding 86.2% of Chinese with Internet access use instant messaging services.

Huge increase in number of people who watch videos online

The number of Chinese who watch videos online is also increasing rapidly. CNNIC reports that 247 million people viewed videos online in 2013, a huge surge of 83.8% from the 112 million video viewers in 2012. The overall rate of Internet users who watched videos online grew to 69.3% from 65.9%.