China has a lot of people in it. More than anywhere else in the world, in fact! But how many of those people are using the internet? According to the latest data from CNNIC, about 513,000,000 of them. That’s 38.3 percent of China’s total population, in case you’re wondering.
As our fancy interactive charts below indicate, internet use in China has been climbing rapidly over the past decade. Perhaps even more impressive, though, is not how far things have come but rather how far they still have to go. 513 million net users seems like an awful lot, but at only 38.3 percent of the population, China’s internet penetration rates are still lagging far behind developed countries like the United States (79 percent), the United Kingdom (85 percent), and Sweden (90 percent).
Compared to its Asian neighbors, China falls somewhere in the middle. It is way behind Japan (80 percent) and Korea (77 percent) but well ahead of India (7.5 percent) and much of Southeast Asia.
Anyway, these numbers are certain to keep growing in 2012, but we suspect China still has a bit of a wait in store before it will be able to catch up with some of its more developed neighbors. For more on China’s regional internet development, check out this story (and interactive map) from last year.