China's Internet users hit 384 million mark in 2009: Report

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Beijing, Jan 16(ANI): A new report has revealed that China's Internet users hit 384 million by the end of 2009 due to the expansion of Internet access and a rapid increase of mobile phone Internet users.

According to the report by China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), the numbers registered a 28.9 percent jump since the end of 2008, while the mobile Internet users increased by 120 million to reach a total of 233 million.

More people have chosen to access the Internet through mobile phones since the Chinese Government issued third-generation (3G) licenses to major telecom operators in January last year, which enables high-speed connectivity to the Internet, The China Daily reports.

The report further said that by November 2009, the government had used 277.3 billion yuan, part of its four trillion yuan stimulus package, to develop telecommunications infrastructure.

Internet usage in rural areas also registered a new high as it reached 106.8 million by the end of 2009, an increase of 26.3 percent from 2008.

The most frequent online practices included listening to music, reading news, and doing searches, the report said.

It also indicated that China's Internet users were gradually shifting to consumption related practices, including tourism reservations, online stock playing, and e-banking, which respectively registered increases of 77.9 percent, 67 percent, and 62.3 percent.

China passed the United States to boast the largest population of Internet users in 2008, but the country's Internet penetration rate is still low, with just 28.9 percent of the total population online in 2009. (ANI)

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