According to DCCI, Data Center of Chinese Internet, China reached 500 million internet users in the first half of 2011. They also estimated that it will reach 551 million this year. The sixth national population census estimates China’s population has reached 1.37 billion which make the internet penetration rate at only 36.4 percent. This compares to the US which is at 77.3 percent or 230 million internet users, according to Internet World Stats.
The number appears to be inflated as another recent estimate by CNNIC, China Internet Network Information Center, put the number of internet users at 485 million. According to some analyst this number is also inflated as CNNIC considers a person six years and older, who has connected to the Internet in the past six months, as an internet user. CNNIC also reports 318 million Chinese now access the Internet from their mobile phones,
Nevertheless these numbers are incredible when compared with the US, other Asian countries and the rest of world.