Beijing :About 620 million, nearly half of China, used mobile phones to access the web as of the end of 2015, making them a major driver of growth in the country’s Internet user population, a new official report has showed.
According to the report released by China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) on Friday, the number of Chinese surfing the web via phone increased by 63.03 million in 2015, accounting for 90.1 per cent of the total 688 million Internet users in the country.
It said about 620 million Chinese, nearly half of the country’s population, had used mobile phones to access the Internet as of the end of the last year, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Mobile phones have become a major driver of growth in China’s Internet user population – already by far the world’s most numerous, the CNNIC report noted.
Beijing, however, imposes strict controls on online content, while e-commerce is a vital part of its efforts to transform the economy into one driven more by consumer demand.
China blocks websites it deems politically sensitive in a system dubbed the “Great Firewall of China”.
The report also said that around 127 million Chinese access the Internet only via cellphones.
Internet coverage expansion has helped improve public services, living standards, and e-commerce.
China’s population stood at over 1.35 billion as per the 2013 data.
According to the report, the numbers of people who use mobile payment services, consult doctors online or receive education through the Internet reached 358 million, 152 million and 110 million, respectively, in 2015.
Moreover, about 96.6 million Chinese, or one in 14, ordered a taxi online in 2015, with most using mobile phones to do so, the report showed.
China has 413 million online shoppers. Last year, more than 50 million people tried online shopping for the first time.