China passes the one billion internet user mark
Steph Deschamps / August 31, 2021
China has surpassed the 1 billion internet user mark for the first time as smartphone usage continues to grow rapidly with the digitization of services and the growth of infrastructure, according to a study released Friday.
A large number of tasks can be done remotely in the country (payment of gas and electricity bills, delivery of meals and medicines, online shopping, medical consultations ).
China gained 21.75 million more Internet users in six months -- twice the population of Belgium -- according to a report by the China Internet Information Center (CNNIC), an official organization.
The CNNIC explains this increase by the improvement of infrastructure (relay antennas, networks), the appearance of new online services (public service, education) or the better logistics in small towns and the countryside, which allows the development of e-commerce.
China closely monitors its Internet to remove any content deemed sensitive, such as calls to overthrow the government, outspoken criticism of national policies or pornography. It also requires sites and social networks to have their own censors to carry out this task in advance.
Control has increased in recent years under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, who advocates an increasing strengthening of socialist ideology and morality in society.
Several foreign sites are also blocked in China, such as Facebook, Google, Instagram, Whatsapp, Gmail, YouTube and many media.