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China

China to hit 800m internet users by 2015

China already has the world’s largest online population but that doesn’t mean its growth is about to slow down any time soon.

Nur Bremmen: Staff reporter
Nur is an enigma with a passion for creating words. He recently entered a love affair with technology and chorizo sausages. He travels a lot -- you... More

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In fact, Chinese authorities predict that the number of people in the country with internet access will hit 800-million by 2015.

As noted by Marbridge Daily, the superpower’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) is putting the expected rise down to its “Broadband China” project, which is aimed at bringing broadband connectivity to more regions of the world’s most populous nation.

According to MIIT, the country had around 550-million internet users in the third quarter of 2012.

As The Next Web notes, China probably had a few more internet users than that by the end of the year, with a growth rate of around 11%.

If it continues to grow at that rate, it’ll be well on track to reach 800-million internet users by 2015. Add in the fact that mobile broadband is growing incredibly quickly — mobile has already overtaken fixed-line internet as the number one means of going online — and it could reach the 800-million mark even quicker.

In fact, mobile could well be key to taking China past the one-billion internet user mark in the next few years. The country already has one-billion mobile subscribers. As more and more entry-level smartphones flood the market, the number of mobile users accessing the internet will only grow exponentially.

While the online population is growing, it’s worth bearing in mind that the internet accessed by China will be an increasingly limited one. Still, you won’t want to bet against a country with 800-million internet users.