Chinese webizens rise to 457 mil

Use of cell phones for web-surfing rises

BEIJING — China’s online users rose last year, 50% more people than the U.S. population by 73.3 million, or 19%, to 457 million people, largely driven by the use of mobile phones to surf the Web, the state-sanctioned China Internet Network Information Center said.

Mobile phone customers who use their phones to access the Internet rose from 60.8% at the end of 2009 to 66.2% at the end of December. This has repercussions for the entertainment biz because increasingly Chinese people use their phones to watch movies and listen to music.

The Internet penetration rate rose to 34.3%, up 5.4 percentage points, according to the report.

The Internet is tightly controlled by the government, but Beijing is keen to promote it for commercial and educational use among its 1.3 billion citizens.

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