Data released on Tuesday by CNNIC – China Internet Network Information Centre – showed that China’s internet population had grown by the end of December 2012 to 564m, represesting just over 42 per cent of the population, and a slight slowing in growth from what was seen in 2011.
But that’s still an additional 50m people – equivalent to the population of South Korea.
Here’s the CNNIC chart that shows the slight slowing in growth:
The big news from the report is the more rapid expansion in mobile users accessing the internet – up to 74.5 per cent from 69.3 per cent in 2011, a definite quickening of growth.
But despite the reports finding that online shoppers grew by 24.8 per cent, Jack Ma, the founder of China’s largest e-commerce company Alibaba, has announced his resignation as chief executive on Tueday.
In a letter, he said: “At 48, I am no longer “young” for the internet business. The next generation of Alibaba people are better equipped to manage an internet ecosystem like ours.”
That ecosystem has 242m potential customers, according to the CNNIC report – a growth rate of nearly a quarter on 2011, and up to 42 per cent of internet users.
Jack Ma steps down as Alibaba chief, FT
China’s internet freedom laws: keeping an eye on the youth, beyondbrics
Chart of the week: how some EMs are skipping the desktop, beyondbrics