The China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) estimated on Wednesday that the number of Internet users in China hit an estimated 162 million by the end of June. Nearly 100 people a minute are going online for the first time.
Currently, an estimated 122 million Chinese have broadband access to the Internet, according to the 20th statistical report on China's Internet development issued by the CNNIC on Wednesday.
One in every four Chinese Internet users, or 44.3 million people, accesses the Internet by phone, largely due to lower mobile charges. About one third of the users access the Internet primarily via wireless devices.
With Internet penetration rate reaching 12.3 percent, China now has approximately 9.18 million domain names, of which 6.15 million end in "cn."
The number of Internet portals currently stands at 1.31 million, of which the number of "cn" names has grown 137.5 percent annually to 810,000. "Cn" names now exceed the number of ".com" names for the first time.
About 67.1 million computers in China are connected to the Internet, up by 7.7 million in the first six months.
The CNNIC, the country's Internet statistics collector, defines an "Internet user" for the purposes of the report as someone over the age of six who uses the Internet on average at least one hour per week.
Since 1997, the CNNIC has been updating figures on the country's Internet development using automatic Internet searches, surveys by on-line affiliate networks and telephone sampling.
(Xinhua News Agency July 19, 2007)