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Small cities make big strides

By Chen Limin | China Daily | Updated: 2013-04-15 07:57

Shopping and payment are among the most quickly expanding mobile services as an increasingly large number of people access the Internet through mobile devices.

Mobile Internet users accounted for 74.5 percent of China's total Internet population, which stood at 564 million by December, according to a report from the China Internet Network Information Center.

Taobao.com, China's biggest consumer-to-consumer online marketplace, said it had 300 million mobile users by the end of last year, which is close to the total population of the United States, compared with the 10 million mobile users it had in 2010.

On the whole, payment via both personal computers and mobile devices also found fourth-tier cities representing a strong force for development.

These cities saw the number of online payment users rise by 64 percent and their purchase amounts by 68 percent last year, both of which were higher than those in big cities, according to Alipay figures.

Gonjo county in the Tibet autonomous region stood out as the area with most rapid growth, with the number of online payments rising by 312 percent and the total amount by 718 percent, said Alipay.

However, big cities and economically advanced provinces remained top players in sheer size. Zhejiang province, where e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd is based, claimed nearly 15 percent of all online payments last year, followed by Guangdong province, Shanghai, Beijing and Jiangsu province.

Small cities make big strides

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