Connecting the future

By Cao Yin | China Daily | Updated: 2019-10-19 07:35

Almost all Chinese netizens have access to the internet via their mobile phones, and the time they spend online is growing, said the nation's top cyberspace regulator.

The nation had 854 million netizens as of June, 25.98 million more than the figure in December, according to a report issued by the China Internet Network Information Center with the Cyberspace Administration of China. Of the total, 99.1 percent connected to the internet through mobile phones, the report said.

The average time netizens spend online has also climbed to 27.9 hours a week, from 18.7 hours in 2009, it said.

The most popular smartphone applications used by netizens are instant-messaging ones, such as WeChat, followed by apps enabling them to watch videos, listen to music and read literature, it said.

The biggest proportion of netizens, about 65 percent, are in the 10 to 39 age range, the report said, adding that the number of internet users age 50 and older is also rising.

Students and freelancers comprised about half of all netizens, the report said.

Thanks to fast developments in online industries, more people enjoy convenience in their daily lives. By the end of June, 639 million people had shopped online, while 421 million had ordered food on the internet, according to the report.

The number of shoppers buying flowers, daily necessities and medicines online has also increased, along with flight and rail bookings, purchasing financial products and hailing taxis.

Besides these convenient services, a large number of users listen to music, watch videos, read books, get news and play games in cyberspace.

Livestreaming broadcasts-specializing in food, tourism and culture-have been a major attraction for netizens and have transformed ordinary people into streaming stars. As of June, 433 million people had watched livestreaming broadcasts, 36.46 million more than the number in December, the report said.

The use of the internet to sell products is also becoming a boon for retailers, it said. In June last year, a shopping festival developed on Taobao, China's largest e-commerce platform, sold about 13 billion yuan ($1.82 billion) worth of goods through livestreaming broadcasts. The rapid developments have been accompanied by strengthened efforts to prevent online violations, including fraud, cyberattacks and personal data breaches, to ensure netizens can use the internet safely.

In the first six months of this year, more than 55 percent of netizens said they had encountered no online threats, "which is not only attributed to people's rising legal awareness, but also the more powerful efforts from Chinese government departments", said Xia Xueping, an official with the Cyberspace Administration of China.

From April to June, 2,899 illegal websites were identified in crackdowns launched by cyberspace authorities and telecommunication departments, Xia said. They were shut down and had their business licenses revoked. A total of 377 cases were sent to public security bureaus for further investigation, he added.

Given that the internet has become a major way for people to obtain information, more government bodies have released news, provided administrative services and helped residents solve problems online, according to the report.

By June, about 60 percent of netizens had used online government services, it said.

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