China's mushrooming online population approaches 600 million

July 18, 2013 at 7:19 PM

BEIJING, July 18 (UPI) -- China's Internet population reached 591 million at the end of June, a figure fueled mostly by a burgeoning mobile Internet user base, an industry group says.

The China Internet Network Information Center, a government-authorized Internet research organization in Beijing, reported 70 percent of new Internet users accessed the Web through smartphones or other wireless devices.

"The traditional Internet applications (e-mail and search engine) have developed smoothly in the period but mobile Internet has come into the spotlight," CNNIC said in a statement on its website.

GSMA, a global mobile communications industry association, said that by 2017, the Asia Pacific region will have 1.9 billion mobile subscribers, accounting for almost half of the predicted global total of 3.9 billion, China's Xinhua news agency reported.

The 591 million Internet users represent a 10 percent increase from a year ago, the CNNIC said.

Web applications showing the most growth were online music, video, games and literature, it said.

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