BEIJING: The proportion of Chinese internet users who use a mobile device to go online has overtaken PC usage for the first time, according to official figures from the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC).
China had 632m internet users at the end of June, an increase of 14.4m since the end of December 2013, and 527m (83.4%) of them went online via mobile while those doing so with a PC accounted for 81% of the total, Reuters reported.
E-commerce powered much of the increase in mobile usage, as the number of mobile shoppers grew 42% in the six months to the end of June, but travel booking, online banking, games, music and video also recorded double-digit growth.
Mobile payment was the fastest growing internet service, experiencing 63.4% growth, while mobile travel booking and online banking recorded rises of 65.4% and 56.4% respectively.
"The mobile payment is becoming much closer with consumers and it has been making greater contributions to e-commerce development," said Liu Bing, CNNIC deputy director, in comments reported by China Daily.
However, CNNIC also noted a decline in the number of people using social networking sites and microblogs, such as Weibo.
Social network users declined 7.4%, or 20.4m users, to 257m while microblog users fell 1.9% to 275m over the past six months, although internet analyst Yin Jinxue believed sites like Weibo and WeChat still had a future.
"Instant messaging applications such as Weibo and WeChat are still used the most among mobile internet users, followed by online shopping apps, including Taobao and Jingdong," she said.
Data sourced from Reuters, China Daily; additional content by Warc