China's online population rises to 519 million


| Zoom

BEIJING (AP) - China's population of Internet users has grown to 591 million, driven by a 20 percent rise over the past year in the number of people who surf the Web from smartphones and other wireless devices, an industry group reported Wednesday.

The end-of-June figures from the China Internet Network Information Center represent a 10 percent rise in total Internet use over a year earlier. The number of wireless users rose to 464 million.

The communist government encourages Internet use for business and education but tries to block access to material deemed subversive or obscene. The rise of Web use has driven the growth of new Chinese industries from online shopping and microblogs to online video.

The latest growth raised the percentage of China's population that uses the Internet to 44 percent, according to CNNIC.

Internet companies are scrambling to respond to the explosive popularity of smartphones, tablets and other wireless devices by rolling out services made for them.

This week, the operator of China's most popular search engine, Baidu Inc., announced it will pay $1.9 billion to acquire a distributor of smartphone apps, 91 Wireless Websoft.

Authorities tightened online controls last year after social networking and other websites played a key role in protests that brought down governments in Egypt and Tunisia.

Also last year, regulators tightened controls on video, requiring providers to prescreen all material before posting online after officials complained some content was vulgar, pornographic or too violent.

___

China Internet Network Information Center: http://www.cnnic.org.cn


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Top Stories

  • Beating the Blitz
    How Wilson to Willson helped beat the Cardinals' blitz

  • The Show Will Go On
    Dave Ross hopes that seeing "The Interview" won't become a litmus test for patriotism
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Listen to the show
Hear GeekWire on KIRO Radio
Join Todd Bishop and John Cook weekends on KIRO Radio to talk Seattle technology.

Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from MyNorthwest.com
In the community
Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.