China Is Now World’s Biggest Internet Market

I thought this has been settled already but after China overtook United States in terms of Internet users, it is now the world’s biggest Internet market.

According to the state-backed China Network Information Center, the nation added 43 million web users in the first six months of this year, while the number of US users rose to 230 million from 218 million last year.

The United States had 189.9 million Internet users in June, according to Internet measurement firm comScore Media Metrix, while rival firm Nielsen Online estimated that the total was 223.1 million.

It is the first time that China’s Internet population has passed U.S., at least as reported by both U.S. companies. In January, China issued a report that said it had 210 million Internet users, beating comScore’s U.S. number, but trailing Nielsen’s.

Easier access to Internet and rising household incomes has boosted China numbers.

China passing the U.S. in number of Internet users was only a matter of time given its huge population of 1.3 billion compared to a little over 300 million for United States. Still, only 19.1 percent of China’s citizens have online access, far less than the United States, where Internet penetration is 71 percent, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project.