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New Internet Users in China Are Mobile Internet Users

Seven in 10 new users log on with smartphones

February 2, 2016 | Advertising & Marketing | Mobile

Last year, fewer than half of new internet users in China accessed the web with a desktop PC. Smartphones, instead, were their device of choice.

Devices Used by New* Internet Users in China to Access the Internet, 2014 & 2015 (% of respondents)

According to the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), people in China who began using the internet for the first time in 2015 were overwhelmingly likely to do so via smartphone: 71.5% said they did. That was up several points from 2014, when 64.1% of new internet users in the country logged on via smartphone.

Desktops, meanwhile, were in use by less than half of new internet users, down from 51.6% in 2014. Even fewer new internet users turned to laptops to get online—and that number had shrunk nearly in half in the past year.

These findings are a return to earlier results from 2013, when fewer than three in 10 new internet users logged on via desktop and about three in four used a smartphone. Laptops have continued to decline in popularity over the past few years, however.

eMarketer estimates that this year, the internet user population in China will grow 3.8% to reach 700.1 million—making 2016 the first year when more than half of China’s population will go online at least monthly.

The mobile phone internet population is growing even more quickly, expected to rise by 5% this year to 618.7 million—meaning 88.4% of all internet users in China this year will go online via mobile phone.

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