China has overtaken the US as the home of the world’s largest number of web surfers, according to Beijing-based technology consulting and research firm BDA China in a study reported by Yahoo! News.
About 220 million Chinese are now internet users, ahead of the US on around 217 million, the study says.
And the gap is likely to get a lot bigger in a very short period of time – by the end of this year China’s websurfing population is expected to grow to 280 million.
An explosion in the availability of broadband – around 160 million Chinese now use broadband at home or through local internet cafes – is a key reason for the rise, BDA China says.