388 million people in China now use the internet on mobile devices, according to figures from the government-backed China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC). The number represents a 22 percent increase from last year, with mobile users now making up more than 70 percent of the country's total internet-connected population.
General internet usage continues to rise in China, with the total figure now standing at 538 million, 39.9 percent of the population. The country first broke the 500 million barrier back in January, reporting 513 million total users. While recent statistics are not available, it seems likely that China is now well ahead of Europe, home to an estimated 500 million users in December 2011.
Increasing levels of domestic mobile internet usage will be welcomed by Chinese manufacturers such as ZTE and Huawei, which may use profits from handset sales to fund further international expansion. Yesterday, ZTE launched its flagship Grand X smartphone in London, signalling a clear intention to boost its presence in lucrative Western markets.