August 27, 2021
China has passed the billion mark for the first time, as smartphone use continues to grow rapidly with the digitization of services and the rise of infrastructure, according to a study published on Friday.
A large number of tasks can be performed remotely in the country (payment of gas and electricity bills, delivery of meals and medicines, online shopping, medical consultations, etc.).
China gained an additional 21.75 million Internet users in six months – twice the population of Belgium – according to a report by the Chinese Internet Information Center (CNNIC), an official body.
The country now has 1.011 billion people connected, according to the latest score in June.
The CNNIC explains this increase by improving infrastructure (relay antennas, networks), the appearance of new online services (public service, education) or even better logistics in small towns and the countryside, which makes it possible to develop ‘e-commerce.
The nationwide internet coverage rate is 71.6% – and 59.2% in rural areas.
China closely monitors its internet to redact any content deemed sensitive, such as calls to overthrow the government, overly frontal criticism of national policies or even pornography. It also requires sites and social networks to have their own censors to carry out this task upstream.
Control has been tightened in recent years under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, who advocates a growing strengthening of socialist ideology and morality within society.
Several foreign sites are also blocked in China, such as Facebook, Google, Instagram, Whatsapp, Gmail, YouTube and many media.
All rights of reproduction and representation reserved.
© 2021 Agence France-Presse
All the information reproduced in this section (or on this page as the case may be) is protected by intellectual property rights held by AFP. Consequently, none of this information may be reproduced, modified, redistributed, translated, commercially exploited or reused in any way whatsoever without the prior written consent of AFP. AFP cannot be held responsible for delays, errors or omissions which cannot be excluded, nor for the consequences of actions or transactions carried out on the basis of this information.