Internet penetration in China reached 61.2 percent in the first half of the year, with 854 million internet users at end June, according to China government-backed research institute MIC (Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute) and reported by China Internet Watch.
China internet users in urban areas account for 73.7% of total internet users. Among the Chinese population who don’t access the internet (which is 541 million), rural areas account for 62.8%. Internet user growth is mainly relying on mobile terminals, which is also very slow.
The number of internet users on mobile phones is 847 million, accounting for over 99% of internet users in China. Smartphones have become the top internet access devices in China.
Short video consumers made up 88.8 percent of all internet users, about 760 million, breaking past the 490 million online gamers.
Top online applications by total number of users in the first half of 2019 are instant messaging, search engines, online news, online videos, and online shopping.
About 80.2 percent of internet users on the country’s three major platforms – iQiyi, Tencent, and Youku, watch OTT content. Bilibili, Sohu Video, and Mango TV were also very popular. These platforms are making big investments into exclusive content.
“Content quality has become the key to competitiveness,” MIC said.