Beijing: China, with a population of over 1.3 billion now has 1.11 billion mobile phone users, according to official data released Friday.
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said in a statement that mobile phone users represent 80 percent of all phones users in the country.
As per recent released data, China's population stood at 1.354 billion at the end of 2012, 6.69 million more than that at the end of 2011.
The number of mobile phones owned by every 100 people reached 82.6 by the end of 2012, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Last year China crossed a billion mark and recorded 125.9 million new mobile phone users, among whom 104.38 million were 3G mobile phone users, bringing the total number of 3G users to 232.8 million, the MIIT said.
The ministry said the number of Internet users rose by 51 million to 564 million people, among whom 74.5 percent, or 420 million people, surf the Internet with their mobile phones.
The Internet penetration rate reached 42.1 percent by the end of last year, up 3.8 percentage points from a year earlier.
Whereas, the mobile internet boom continues in the country and it is also fast emerging as new medium posing a major challenge to the official media's monopoly in the country.
Social networking websites like Twitter and Facebook are banned in China but the number of Chinese microbloggers, akin to Twitter this year crossed 274 million mark, the largest in the world as internet medium has emerged as the main stay of public expression in a tightly controlled official media set up in China.
According to data released by China Internet Network Information Centre, (CINIC) last month 274 million Chinese had microblog accounts as of June last year most of them were operated through mobile phones.
The number of Internet users in China rose to 538 million by June last year, meaning that four out of ten Chinese access the Internet, the CINIC report said.
It is estimated that by 2015 China will have more than 800 million Internet users, one quarter of which will be from rural areas.
First Published: Friday, January 25, 2013, 11:56