The China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) issued the 2015 Statistical Report on Internet Development in China on February 3, 2015. The report showed that China's netizen population, the world's largest, had reached 649 million with an Internet penetration rate — the percent of the country’s population who are Internet users — of 47.9percent by the end of 2014.
Much of this increase was driven by the popularity of surfing the Internet on smartphones. The number of people accessing the Internet from mobile devices totaled 557 million by the end of last year, up 56.72 million year on year and accounting for 85.8 percent of the total online population. The use of instant messaging (IM) applications on smartphones grew steadily, reaching 91.2 percent among the total smartphone-using population and ranking first in the industry. After an explosive growth and then a steady increase in 2014, the smartphone online gaming industry is expected to expand its market share in 2015. Travel applications — namely those with booking capabilities — witnessed a user base increase of 194.6 percent, overtaking any other mobile-business app in China. Users of mobile phone e-business applications for online shopping, payment and banking increased by 63.5 percent, 73.2 percent and 69.2 percent respectively. Thanks to these wonderful applications, made possible by mobile Internet, personal Internet usage was on the rise last year.
Moreover, netizens' trust in the Internet played a crucial role in these marked increases. By the end of December 2014, 54.5percent of netizens were reported to believe the information from the Internet — a substantial increase over the 35.1percent in 2007. Trust in the Internet has become an important part of social trust, paving way for the development of e-business and Internet applications.
Also, according to statistics, 60percent of the Chinese netizen population took a positive attitude toward sharing resources over the Internet; while among young netizens of 10 to 19 years old, the proportion was even higher, at 65.9percent. Through such reciprocal sharing, communication costs have been decreased and cultural values created and shared as well.
Along with the popularity of mobile phone applications, Online-to-Offline (O2O) business enjoyed sound development in many cities, big and small, and will continue to develop with great momentum in the future.
(Source: CNNIC / Translated and edited by Women of China)
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