Beijing: China has 710 million internet users, largest in any country which is trailed by neighbouring India with 277 million internet surfers.
The latest figure accounts for 5.71 per cent of the total population. And of the 710 million, 191 million are from rural China — 27 per cent of the total internet population.
The data was released by the China Internet Network Information Centre (CNNIC) on Wednesday.
China is strengthening its internet infrastructure. Cities like Beijing and Shanghai have world class internet connectivity, the report said.
China gained about 21.3 million new web users in the first half of 2016, an increase of 1.3 per cent compared with figures from the end of 2015, the report said.
The number of people surfing the internet via smartphones reached 656 million, about 92.5 per cent of internet users, the report said.
On average, web users spent 3.8 hours per day on the internet, an increase of 0.3 hours from 2015.
According to the report, almost 92 per cent of mobile internet users in China use instant messaging apps and almost 80 per cent use news apps. Mobile search, online music and videos, as well as online payments were also among the most popular mobile applications.
Users of food take-out apps rose over 40 per cent in the first six months of 2016, with 146 million Chinese using their phones to order food.