China now has more than 513 million Internet users and over 356 million mobile Internet users by the end of December, 2011, according to the 29th Statistical Report on Internet Development out today by CNNIC, or China Internet Network Information Center, the state-run network information center of China.


*By year-end of 2011, over 513 million Internet users (increased by 55.8 million in last year) and 356 million mobile Internet users (increased by 52.85 million) in China

*Out of all the netizens, 73.4% of them are equipped with desktops while 69.3% use mobile devices

*More than 2.3 million websites in China

*More than half Chinese Internet users (48.7%) are using weibos, gaining on traditional news channels as weibos now serve as one of the major news sources

*Entertainment applications facing downturn, whereas online video rises steadily with more than 325 million users, or a use rate of nearly 63.4%

*Ecommerce sees growing in general including online shopping (increased by 33.44 million, or 20.8%), online payment (up 32.5%) and online banking (up 32.4%)

The report also shows that in the past year more than 64.65 million users purchased on Chinese group buying sites.

Net Applications Use Rate

Application       # of user      use rate

IM                        415 million   80.9%

Search                 407 m            79.4%

Music                   385 m           75.5%

News                     366 m          71.5%

Video                     325 m         63.4%

Gaming                 324 m         63.2%

Email                     245 m         47.9%

Weibo                     249 m        48.7%

SNS                        244 m         47.6%

Shopping              193 m        37.8%

Group buying       64.6 m     12.6%

Travel Booking    42 m        8.2%

B2C Becomes Mainstream

By the end of December 2011, more than 194 million people made purchases with etailers while B2C made it to the mainstream with the proliferation of B2C services like TMall, 360buy, Joyo, Dangdang and so on.

Big Potential for Online Travel Booking

As we can see that only 42 million (use rate 8.2%) Chinese people used travel booking service in last year while most of which are high-end users. However, Chinese travel market is predictably seeing fast-pace growth in the coming years so online travel booking businesses are expected to experience higher growth.

Weibos Gain on Traditional News Sources

The Weibo war (involving Sina Weibo, Tencent Weibo, NetEase Weibo and Sohu Weibo) in last year made the service well-known to Chinese netizens with more than half Internet users have registered one or more of these services (250 million as of December 2011, up 296.0% from the same period in 2010).

Online Video Prompted by Quality Contents

With more and more video services like Sohu TV, QQ Video, iQiyi, Youku and Tudou bleeding money for quality contents from both production companies inside and outside of China, use rate of online video service is also seeing big growth (325 million users, up 14.6% yoy, use rate of 63.4%).

However, content/bandwidth costs outgrew their revenue so and industry is still not profitable yet.

Listener of startups, writer on tech. Maker of things, dreamer by choice.

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  1. The correct technical term for “group shopping” is C2B. Baidu’s term B2T doesn’t seem to have garnered wide approval from around the world.

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