According to CNN, China has now surpassed 649 million users, outnumbering the entire U.S. population two to one, according to official figures released Tuesday.
The China Internet Network Information Center’s (CNNIC) 35th “China Internet Development Statistics Report” documents online usage in the country for 2014 and identifies the staggering number of connected Chinese citizens.
The growth of mobile internet is largely credited for the increase, with 80% of users – 557 million – using smartphones and tablets to connect.
However, the rate of growth is slowing somewhat, the report said, with 31 million new users added in 2014 compared to 54 million in 2013.
The rate of growth in mobile users was significantly higher than the overall increase, with 57 million new mobile users logging on last year.
Despite the huge number and rapid growth of connectivity, the overall population size means that still a majority (52.1%) of Chinese have no access to the internet.
Rural users are heavily outnumbered by their urban counterparts.
After China, the U.S. has the second largest number of Internet users, with 280 million, followed by India (243 million) and Japan (109 million), according to data compiled by the World Bank and United Nations amongst others.
Those who are connected largely have a different user experience from internet users in the West, with sites like Twitter, Facebook and Google blocked or severely restricted. So some months ago Google Inc’s Gmail was blocked in China after months of disruptions to the world’s biggest email service, with an anti-censorship advocate suggesting the Great Firewall was to blame.
Thousands of terms deemed sensitive by the government – such as “end one-party dictatorship” – are also banned.
And China’s “Great Firewall” is getting harder to break through.
Without unfettered access, however, some are concerned that China is strangling its nascent “knowledge economy.”
While the huge number of connected users – particularly those on smart devices – is a boon to companies like Apple, which credits a large part of its phenomenal quarterly earnings to its huge Chinese fanbase, there is a cost.
Strict, new Chinese government rules will subject foreign companies to tailor their products for use within China. By insisting that overseas companies give up source code and back-end data on their China-bound products, they are put at a huge competitive disadvantage.
One popular way to get around China’s internet censorship is to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN), which allows unhindered access to blocked sites and services.
Using a VPN seems to be the only answer to doing anything these days online in China.
Key Benefits of VPN:
· You can unblock websites which are not available in your region.
· Want to surf anonymously? We will hide your IP address and location by giving you our own IP address. Surf securely without footprints and with your online privacy being untouched.
· No technical expertise is required to connect to Secure VPN.
· No personal data are required.
· Privatoria can see neither your geographical location nor any browsing details which gives you more confident browsing experience.
· Secure VPN is established through protected connection and, thus, only encrypted information will be visible to the provider.
· Privatoria’s Anonymous VPN is Tor integrated. This means that you can connect to Tor network without installing any software. Even if your provider blocks Tor, using Privatoria you can circumvent it.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask us in comments.
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