BEIJING: The number of consumers accessing the mobile internet is growing rapidly in China, Analysys International has revealed.
The research firm reported that 214m people logged on to the web via wireless handsets during the first half of 2010.
This marked an increase from 205m at the close of 2009, and can be measured against just 50m in 2007.
Uptake is expected to surpass 300m in 2010, although such an annual rate of expansion would actually constitute a slowdown on recent growth levels.
Total revenues generated through this medium climbed 31.7% to 23.7bn yuan ($3.5bn; €2.6bn; £2.2bn) in H1, and should hit 63.3bn yuan for the full year.
By way of comparison, sales from this channel stood at 38.8bn yuan in 2009, 20.5bn yuan in 2008 and 11.8bn yuan in 2007.
Mobile data charges delivered 59.1% of all returns across the opening six months of 2010, Analysys International argued.
Elsewhere, the company stated Google's share of the mobile search market is currently declining, after the US operator decided to pare back its local activities.
Meanwhile, e-readers are gaining ground, supported by organisations including the China Publishing Group and telecoms giant China Mobile, which have been prominently promoting these products.
Looking ahead, Analysys International predicted gaming will be a driver of mobile internet revenues, with security a further key issue, as competition between specialists like Kingsoft and Kaspersky intensifies.
Instant messaging is another popular pastime, encompassing major domestic players such as Tencent's Mobile QQ and China Mobile's Fetion, as well as global corporations like Microsoft.
Smartphones are fuelling the overall trend, as 24.1m units were sold from January to June, beating the 21.6m recorded throughout the whole of last year.
As more manufacturers enter this sector, the available options for shoppers could quickly increase.
Data sourced from Baidu; additional content by Warc staff