China’s Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) released stats Monday showing that the nation of 1.3 billion now has 457 million broadband users, more than the U.S., Mexico and Canada combined. While, one can quibble with China’s data, the numbers can offer some interesting perspective aboutchina and about the future of the web.
For example, broadband penetration in China is 98 percent, which suggests that if folks have wired access they are connected, unlike in the U.S. where penetration rates are closer to 80 percent and even more dismal in certain states, according to data also out today from content delivery network Akamai.
The CNNIC reports that there are 303 million mobile web users in China, up 69.3 million from the same period in 2009. Mobile internet users accounted for 66.2 percent of total internet users, up from 60.8 percent at the end of 2009. The number of rural internet users reached 125 million, or 27.3 percent of total users, an increase of 16.9 percent. The numbers don’t add up because some households have multiple connections.
As I said in July during the last release of this data, when China had 420 million citizens online, the Chinese are spending billions to build out better mobile and wireline broadband, I am concerned about the U.S. continuing to push out faster networks and drive more citizens online so we can stay competitive. On the other hand, China’s growing web usage shows that U.S. companies should also be looking abroad for growth–if they can.
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