China just got a huge spike in internet users

With 30 million more internet users in the first half of this year, China has hit 800 million in total.

Jennifer Bisset
Jennifer Bisset
Jennifer Bisset Former Senior Editor / Culture
Jennifer Bisset was a senior editor for CNET. She covered film and TV news and reviews. The movie that inspired her to want a career in film is Lost in Translation. She won Best New Journalist in 2019 at the Australian IT Journalism Awards.
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  • Best New Journalist 2019 Australian IT Journalism Awards
Jennifer Bisset

China's population is big -- 1.4 billion big -- and its internet user population is creeping toward similar heights.

A government department called the China Internet Network Information Center ran a report to find out just how many citizens were jumping online. The result was 802 million, and the agency estimates that 29.68 million of those people came online only recently, in the first half of this year, as pointed out by Bloomberg.

This is the first time China's internet using population has crossed the 800 million mark, according to the report. For perspective, that number is greater than the internet populations of Japan, Russia and the US combined. Individually, the US has 300 million internet users, at a population of 325 million, according to the United States Census Bureau.

The stat takes the percentage of people using the internet in China up to 57.7 percent. It gets higher: 788 million citizens are reportedly mobile internet users, meaning a huge 98 percent of netizens have mobile internet access.

What citizens are not using their time spent on the internet on includes Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Netflix. Under the country's so-called Great Firewall of censorship, citizens are limited to locally developed apps. Apple, for instance, had to remove what are deemed illegal VPNs from its China App Store, VPNs being a way for users to navigate around the Great Wall of censorship.