China’s Online Population Tops Half a Billion in 2011
China’s online population, already the world’s largest, has hit 513 million users in 2011. This is a 12 percent increase of users over the previous year. Among the half billion users around 48 percent or 250 million people are using microblogs.
Reports also show that the number of people using traditional communications tools, like emails, blogs and web forums are decreasing, with more people using micro blogs to communicate. The number of people using the Internet in rural areas has also increased 8.9 percent or around 136 million in 2011.
But with these increase in numbers there are still large disparities that exist between rich and poor regions. In Beijing alone more than 70 percent of the population used the Internet last year, while in the southwestern province of Guizhou only 24 percent of its population went online.