Mobile Web users rise 113% in China in 2008




         China’s mobile Internet population surged a whopping 113 percent in 2008 and could see explosive growth in the coming years, said a report issued by the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) on Tuesday.
         The nation’s move to deploy third-generation (3G) services will benefit from the rising popularity of a mobile Internet, as more than 117 million subscribers have gone online with their cell phones.
        CNNIC said 39.5 percent of Chinese Internet users adopt cell phones to surf the Web.
According to an online survey by, China’s largest portal website, 65 percent of the nearly 158,000 respondents will try 3G service as long as it is available.
        Enabling faster data transmission, 3G networks allow cell phone users to browse online news, watch TV, play online games and many other wireless Internet services.
         Last week, China officially awarded the long-awaited licenses for 3G mobile networks to three telephone operators, paving the way for investments of around 280 billion yuan in network upgrading and expansion over the next two years.
China Mobile will spend 58.8 billion yuan in 2009 to expand its 3G network across the country while China Telecom and China Unicom plan to invest 80 billion yuan and 100 billion yuan respectively during the next two years.
         By 2011, the three operators expect to start 3G services all over China. Analysts say the number of mobile Internet users could grow even faster now that the country has awarded the three telephone operators licenses to build the high-speed mobile phone networks.
         As the categories of mobile Internet services increase, charges have been lowered massively. China Mobile recently decreased its monthly charges of Internet services by 66 percent. China Telecom has lowered its charges to 0.005 yuan per kilobyte, the lowest price at present.
         The CNNIC report also said China had 298 million Internet users by the end of 2008 - more than any country in the world and a 41.9 percent growth compared to the previous year - among which 270 million surf the Web via broadband access. The number of domain names ending with .cn has hit 13.57 million.
         The rate of Internet use in China has reached 22.6 percent, surpassing the global average 21.9 percent for the first time, the report said.

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