BEIJING: More Chinese consumers are accessing the internet via mobile phones, tablets and other similar devices, new figures show.

Official government statistics revealed there were 833m mobile phone users in China as of September 2010, making it the world's largest market overall.

Research firm CTR surveyed 1,000 people aged 15-65 years old based in ten cities across the country to assess how many utilised handsets, alongside gadgets like the iPad and iTouch, to surf the net.

It found handheld devices had become "an indispensable communications tool" for 83% of interviewees owning such items.

Some 73% of the sample possessing appliances boasting connections to the wireless internet had gone online through this route, with 57% doing so regularly and 41% logging on every day.

Participants born in the 1980s and 1990s were the primary audience, and further correlations applied for those with a college education and panellists earning between 1,000 yuan and 2,000 yuan per month.

Four in ten contributors agreed the mobile internet had exerted a noticeable influence on their lifestyle, rising to 57% concerning working practices.

Elsewhere, 40% of individuals that browsed the web in this way suggested it diverted attention from competing channels like television and newspapers.

Another 30% preferred to go online in such a fashion rather than using a PC when both options were readily available, and 5% afforded phones and computers an equal status in this area.

Convenience was a major reason behind the mobile web's popularity, with demand for "anytime, anywhere" content gaining ground as a result.

CTR predicted that in five years, at the latest, this medium will have entered the "mainstream" in terms of marketing strategies, consuming traditional media and locating product information.

Applications and cloud computing should play a leading role in stimulating this "revolutionary change", the company added.

Data sourced from CTR; additional content by Warc staff