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China becomes world’s biggest online community

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

There are now as many internet users in China as there are people in the US, Indonesia and Brazil combined. China surpassed the 800 million mark for the number of internet users for the first time, further cementing its position as home to the world’s biggest online community, as the country kept up its investment in infrastructure and pushed to lower fees.

The number of internet users in China rose by 30 million in the first half to 802 million, representing a penetration rate of 57.7 per cent, according to a report by state agency China Internet Network Information Centre (CNNIC) released on Monday. All but 1.7 per cent of the users access the internet through mobile devices, according to the report.

As of June 2018, seven in 10 Chinese internet users have shopped and paid for purchases online. About 566 million people use mobile payment, an increase of 7.4 per cent compared with six months earlier.

The sheer scale of China’s internet population means that the number of mobile internet users in China is three times bigger than that of the US, and the number of mobile payment users is up to 12 times larger, according to data compiled in the China Internet Report, co-authored by the South China Morning Post, its online tech news site Abacus and San Francisco-based venture capital firm 500 start-ups.

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