Taxi drivers take part in a demonstration in central Budapest, Hungary, on June 16, 2015. Hundreds of taxi drivers turned up in their yellow cabs at a demonstration against unregulated car-sharing apps such as Uber, demanding the government to carry out a solution. (Xinhua/Attila Volgyi)
Taxi drivers take part in a demonstration in central Budapest, Hungary, on June 16, 2015. Hundreds of taxi drivers turned up in their yellow cabs at a demonstration against unregulated car-sharing apps such as Uber, demanding the government to carry out a solution. (Xinhua/Attila Volgyi)

In addition, 21.6 million people booked private cars online, according to the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) report, which was released Friday.

Taxi drivers take part in a demonstration in central Budapest, Hungary, on June 16, 2015. Hundreds of taxi drivers turned up in their yellow cabs at a demonstration against unregulated car-sharing apps such as Uber, demanding the government to carry out a solution. (Xinhua/Attila Volgyi)
Taxi drivers take part in a demonstration in central Budapest, Hungary, on June 16, 2015. Hundreds of taxi drivers turned up in their yellow cabs at a demonstration against unregulated car-sharing apps such as Uber, demanding the government to carry out a solution. (Xinhua/Attila Volgyi)

Internet coverage expansion has helped improve public services, people’s living standards and social harmony, the report said.

It has also led to a boom in ride-hailing services. Private car services from Didi, a leading Chinese app, are available in 199 cities. While U.S. counterpart Uber said in November that China is about to become its largest market.

The report also said there were 688 million Internet users in China by the end of 2015, 50.3 percent of the total population.

Of this number, 195 million, 28.4 percent, were rural residents, said CNNIC deputy director Liu Bing, adding that last year the annual growth rate of rural netizens was double that of urban users.

In Beijing and Shanghai, more than 73 percent of residents used the Internet by the end of last year, while in the southwest provinces of Yunnan and Guizhou the rate was only about 38 percent.

Last year, more than 50 million people tried online shopping for the first time. China has 413 million online shoppers.

“China entered the Internet era without completing the goals of modernization and industrialization. It’s a unique Chinese path and it’s an unprecedented opportunity for China to make use of the Internet to accomplish these goals,” said Chen Yubo, deputy head of the School of Economics and Management at Tsinghua University.

More companies, under the government’s “Internet Plus” initiative, have begun to make use of the Internet, especially social networks, for marketing, dissemination of information and internal management, according to the report.

However, 4.8 percent of companies do not own a computer and 11 percent do not use the Internet, it said.
Most companies use antivirus software but only a quarter pay for the service.

The Internet has become major source of news for at least 564 million Chinese people, it said.

OTHER FACTS AND FIGURES
— China has 4.23 million websites.
— 91.9 percent of netizens use wifi.
— 90.1 percent of netizens surf the Internet on cellphones.
— Around 127 million, or 18.5 percent, only access the Internet by cellphone.
— 416 million people use online payment services.
— About 152 million people consulted doctors online and 110 million received education online in 2015.
— China’s country code domain “.cn” is now the world’s most commonly used, with 16.36 million users using it by the end of last year, topping Germany’s “.de.”
— South China’s Guangdong Province has 77.68 million Internet users, the most in China.  Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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