At the fifth World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, a river town in eastern China’s Zhejiang province, the latest version of the blue book China Internet Development Report 2018 was released along with the World Internet Development Report, local media is reporting (in Chinese).

According to the newly released reports, the US, China, UK, Singapore, and Sweden are ranked among the top five in terms of internet development.

This year’s China Internet Development Report highlighted the progress China has made in information technology infrastructure. In particular, the country’s 4G user penetration is now ranked among the top five globally. The nation also boasts its 5G research and development to be one of the most advanced in the world.

4G is entering the mainstream and optical fibers are increasingly common in China.

As of June, the number of fixed broadband subscribers reached 378 million with optical fiber users accounting for 87.5%—the highest in the world.

The report also shows that China has significantly ramped up its network speed.

As of the end of the second quarter, fixed broadband and 4G download speed both exceeded 20 Mbps, a 50% increase from the year before.

The nation now has over 3.4 million 4G base stations providing network connection for 1.11 billion 4G users.

On the innovation front, 3.986 million information technology-related patents were filed in 2017. Applications under PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) from China stood at 48,900, ranked second in the world for the first time.

China has constructed 17 high-performance computing centers as of June.

In 2017, the size of China’s digital economy reached RMB 27.2 trillion which accounts for 32.9% of overall GDP and has contributed 55% to GDP growth, the report says.

Transaction volume of e-commerce, one of the hottest spheres in China’s digital economy, reached 29.16 trillion, an 11.7% increase from the year before. IoT market size has exceeded 1 trillion, posting a CAGR of over 25%. The market size artificial intelligence—an area that China is racing ahead to overtake the US and other technologically advanced nations—reached RMB 23.7 billion, a stunning 67% increase.

The report also ranked provinces and regions in China based on a set of internet development indices, the top ten are Guangdong, Beijing, Shanghai, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Shandong, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Fujian, and Hubei.

Nicole Jao is a reporter based in Beijing. She’s passionate about emerging trends, news, and stories of human interest within the world of technology. Connect with her on Twitter or via email:

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