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China's Internet Growth In Two Charts

Posted: July 17, 2013

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China has by far the most Internet users in the world, but the Internet doesn't have that kind of reach — at least not yet.

China has by far the most Internet users in the world, and it appears that soon half the country will be on the Web, thanks largely to cellphones and other mobile devices.

In percentage terms, Iceland, Norway and Sweden have the highest Internet penetration, with more than 90 percent of residents online. The U.S. is 27th, with 78 percent of Americans online.

But in new data released Wednesday, the China Internet Network Information Center announced that 591 million people in China had used the Internet as of June 2013. That's 44 percent of the country's 1.3 billion population. Much of the growth can be attributed to wireless devices. The following two charts show the Internet's growth in China and its penetration rate.

In the past, critics have disputed some of the numbers coming. They acknowledge that China is indeed one of the world's largest Internet markets, but question just how big it is or the methodology used to come up with some of the data.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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