China Becomes World's Biggest Online Community

Amid tight control, the country's population has set a record by crossing a mark of 800 million Internet users
China Becomes World's Biggest Online Community
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Former Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia-Pacific
2 min read

China has always been in the news for internet censorship owing to laws and administrative regulations. Amid this tight control, the country’s population has set a new record by crossing a mark of 800 million Internet users in June, making it the world’s biggest online community. This finding was part of a report by state agency China Internet Network Information Centre (CNNIC), an administration and service organization, which states that in the first half of 2018, there were 29.68 million new Internet users, an increase of 3.8 per cent compared with the end of 2017.

Zeng Yu, director, CNNIC and secretary of the party committee, released the report. Based on detailed data and practical analysis, the 42nd Statistical Report comprehensively reflects the development of China's Internet in the first half of 2018,  further focusing on five aspects of Internet infrastructure, personal applications, government applications, industrial technology and network security.

Focus on Infrastructure

The number of Internet users in China rose to 802 million in the first half of this year, with over 98 per cent accessing the Internet through mobiles, the report says.

The report states that China’s expansion in Internet services is reinforced by continuous investment in infrastructure. The government’s recent policy to increase Internet speed and make access more affordable has been the driving force in promoting growth. What’s more, the integration of transportation, environmental protection, finance, medical care, home appliances and other industries with the Internet has deepened, and Internet services have been characterized by intelligence and refinement.

The world of online shopping is growing fast and the Internet revolution has led this growth. The report says, as of June, seven in 10 Chinese Internet users have shopped and paid for purchases online.

The Rise of Entertainment

The report notes that in the first half of 2018, the demand for online entertainment market was strong, and corresponding policies were introduced to encourage and guide the healthy development of Internet entertainment.

The short video applications are also rapidly emerging in China, with 74.1 per cent of netizens using short video applications to meet fragmented entertainment needs. At the same time, the content of online culture and entertainment is further standardized, the network music and literary copyright environment are gradually improved. The video industry has built an ecosystem with content as the core, and the live broadcast platform has entered the stage of refined operation.

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