Beijing, Jan 23 (IANS) China has 731 million internet users, roughly the size of Europe's population, according to a report.
China has the world's largest internet users followed by India.
The data was till December 2016.
The number of web users grew by 6.2 per cent from the previous year, accounting for 53.2 percent of China's total population, a report by the China Internet Network Information Centre said.
Li Yi, a Shanghai-based independent IT expert, told the Global Times the surge in the number of smartphones was the primary reason for the growth in net users.
Some 695 million netizens used mobile phones to access the internet in 2016, with a growth rate exceeding 10 per cent for the third straight year, the report said.
The report noted that 201 million people or 27 per cent of internet users were from rural areas -- a gap of 45.2 per cent in the internet penetration rate between urban and rural areas.