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More Chinese use phones to access the Internet

By GAO YUAN  (China Daily)

10:07, July 18, 2013

A sales clerk demonstrates the speed of mobile 4G telecom services to customers in Guiyang, Guizhou province. The number of mobile Internet users in the country reached 464 million at the end of June, according to the China Internet Network Information Center. [Photo/ Xinhua]

Nearly 80 percent of Chinese people who use the Internet are using smartphones to go online, the highest proportion ever, industry research revealed on Wednesday.

The nation added 43.8 million mobile Internet users in the first six months of this year, lifting the total population to 464 million, according to the China Internet Network Information Center.

The total number of Chinese Internet users also hit a record high, adding 26.56 million to 591 million, said the center.

The mobile Internet sector is showing a stronger growth momentum than the traditional Internet front, said the report, giving credit to the rapid expansion of third-generation communication infrastructure and the increasing penetration rate of smartphones.

The nation's Internet companies are eyeing the mobile business, hoping investments in the emerging segment could yield higher profits.

Earlier this year, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, the most valued Internet company in China, spent $880 million investing in micro-blogging portal and navigation company AutoNavi Holdings Ltd to get a bigger foothold in the mobile world.

Tencent Holdings Ltd, owner of the popular instant messaging service WeChat, is looking to commercialize the app used by 300 million people by introducing a payment feature to the product.

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