China's Internet users rise to 485 mln

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The number of people surfing the Internet in China rose to 485 million by the end of June this year, up 6.1 percent from the end of last year, the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) announced Tuesday.

The increase of 27.7 million over the six-month period was smaller than the increase of 36 million during the same period last year, the CNNIC said in a report.

The growth of Internet users has been slowing since the beginning of 2010, and the easing trend is more evident currently, the report said.

The Internet penetration rate was 36.2 percent at the end of June, up 1.9 percentage points from the rate last year, it said.

About 65.5 percent of China's Internet users, or 318 million people, use mobile phones to surf the net, an increase of 14.94 million from the end of last year, it said.

Weibo, a twitter-like social networking website, has enjoyed "explosive growth" in its number of users, it said. The number of microblog users surged by 208.9 percent to reach 195 million by the end of June, it said.

The number of group-purchase users also rose 125 percent in the first six months of the year, it said. About 18.75 million used group-purchase websites at the end of last year.

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