About 695 million Chinese people — around half of the country’s population — had used mobile phones to access the Internet as of the end of 2016, an official report showed Sunday.

The number of Chinese who surfed online using their phones increased more than 10 percent annually for the past three years, according to the report released by China Internet Network Information Center (CINIC).

During the past year, the number of Chinese who used mobile phones to make payments reached 469 million people, an increase of 31.2 percent from 2015.

Chinese netizens have hit 731 million, accounting for 53.2 percent of the total population, 3.1 percent higher than the global Internet penetration rate and 7.6 percent higher than that of Asia.

The growth rate of China’s netizen population has stabilized after nearly 10 years of exponential growth, according to Liu Xin with the CINIC.

In 2016, Chinese netizens used Internet-based government services more often than offline service centers and hotlines. Government information was disclosed to the public in an increasingly mobile, immediate and transparent manner, the report said.

In addition, Internet coverage expansion has helped improve people’s living standards and boost e-commerce, the report showed.

For instance, the number of Chinese who ordered takeout online had reached 209 million as of December 2016, a year-on-year increase of 83.7 percent.

Between Jan. 1 and Nov. 30, 2016, video websites filed 4,430 network dramas with authorities. Quality of network dramas improved, with some ranking among the most popular for the year, according to the report.

The number of listed Chinese Internet enterprises reached 91, with an aggregate value of 5.4 trillion yuan (786.1 billion U.S. dollars). Tencent and Alibaba accounted for 57 percent of the total value. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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