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One in five smartphone users uses an ad-blocker on their phone, report says

New figures say more than 419 million people are banishing adverts from their phones, particularly in China.

People are increasingly ignoring adverts on their phone, new figures say.
Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images

More than one in five people routinely block adverts on their phones, new figures say.

At least 419 million people are stopping ads from appearing on their mobile devices, according to a report by PageFair on the use of mobile ad-blockers. That works out to 22 percent of the world's 1.9bn smartphone users, as of March 2016.

Of those adblocker users, the report says more than 400 million people use mobile browsers that block ads by default. A large number of those are in China, where there are 159 million users of mobile ad-zapping browsers, and India, where there are 122 million people using browsers that ban ads.

The phenomenon is less pronounced in Europe and North America, where there were just 14 million monthly active users of ad-busting mobile browsers. But mobile adverts are still under threat: UK mobile network Three is the first European carrier to block ads at a network level.

The reports author PageFair markets tools to combat ad-blockers. As such, it's in the company's interest to highlight the extent of the threat to publishers like this website you're reading right now. As ad-blockers threaten advertising revenue, the publishing industry is increasingly considering paywalls and subscriptions. Hey, don't blame us, we've got to keep the lights on somehow.

Browsers with ad-blocking options include Opera and Brave.

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