China: number of internet users December 2008-2018

The statistic shows the number of internet users in China from December 2008 to December 2018. By the end of 2018, about 828.5 million people had access to internet in China.

Internet use in China – additional information

Off the around 3.9 billion internet users worldwide as of 2018, China accounted for more than 20 percent. However, compared to its total population, China’s internet penetration rate is lower than in other Asian countries. As of the end of 2017, internet penetration in China ranged at 55.8 percent. Penetration rates in both South Korea and Japan were extensively higher.

Internet usage in China is further characterized by a large regional discrepancy. Whereas almost 78 percent of Beijing inhabitants used the internet by the end of 2016, only some 40 percent of the population of Yunnan, a province located in the southwest of China, had access to internet.

As in other parts of the world, widespread use of smartphones, tablet computers and other electronic devices has had a massive impact on internet access for the Chinese populace. The number of mobile internet users in China ballooned from some 45 million in 2007 to 817 million in 2018, and it continues to grow. Since June 2014, more Chinese people access the internet via mobile device than via computers. Meanwhile, mobile shopping and mobile payment win increasing popularity. Alibaba Group, which went public at the New York stock exchange in September 2014, had been one of China’s first internet pioneers and currently is the largest operator of online shopping sites and payment platforms in China. Alibaba’s net income had surpassed the combined profit of Amazon and EBay during the second quarter of 2014.

Number of internet users in China from December 2008 to December 2018

Number of internet users in millions
Dec '18828.51
Dec '17771.98
Dec '16731.25
Dec '15688.26
Dec '14648.75
Dec '13617.58
Dec '12564
Dec '11513.1
Dec '10457.3
Dec '09384
Dec '08298
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Release date

February 2019



Survey time period

2008 to 2018

Supplementary notes

End-of-year figures.

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Statistics on "Internet usage in China"

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