CNNIC released its half-year report, according to which China’s netizens reached 632 million as of June 2014, a mere 2% increase compared to half a year ago, and the mobile netizens increased by 5% to 527 million. (The full report in Chinese)
More netizens as a percentage (83.4%) accessed the Internet through mobile phones and a decreased rate of users accessed it through PCs (69.6%) or laptops (43.7%).
The Internet penetration rate was 46.9%, a 1.1% increase compared to half a year ago. 28.2% of the netizens were in rural areas.
Online payment was the fastest growing application category on both PC and mobile, thanks to, to a certain extent, more applications created, such as personal financial record apps.Mobile payment users increased 63.4% compared with the end of 2013 and mobile payment usage rate increased to 38.9%, up from 25.1%.
Other newly emerged Internet-based finance products or services gained traction quickly. Since the first online mutual funds like Alibaba’s Yuebao launched about a year ago, 10% of the total Chinese netizens have signed up to such services.
Mobile gaming was the major driver in online gaming market. 47.8% netizens were playing mobile games and the first half of 2014 saw an addition of 36.48 million users.
The CNNIC report is based on surveys sampling 30,000 Chinese residents older than six — half are landline users and half mobile phone users, from China’s all administrative regions.