China Net user number surges to 298 million

The number of Internet users rose 41.9 percent year-on-year to 298 million in 2008, according to the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC).

A report by the CNNIC indicated that the country's Internet penetration rate has reached 22.6 percent, higher than the global average of 21.9 percent for the first time. In addition, the number of broadband Internet users in China was 270 million and the number of the national .CN domain names soared 50.8 percent to 13.572 million.

Mobile Internet has also gathered steam in the country. According to the report, the number of people using mobile phone to access the Internet surged 113 percent to 117 million last year.

Chinese portals such as Sina and Sohu are major sources of information for a large number of Internet users in the country, said the report.

By the end of 2008, the number of rural Internet users in China was up by more than 60 percent to 84.6 million, the report noted.

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