Over Half A Billion People Access The Web In China

The World’s largest country based on population at well over one Billion people, also has the largest amount of people who access the web. New data came out that showed in 2011, 513 Million people accessed the Internet in some form.

While the Internet isn’t anything new to most of us, there’s still people from other countries who have never experienced it or are fairly new to experiencing it. Keep in mind there’s still various parts of China that are underdeveloped and rural.

Via Los Angeles Times:

“The number of Web users in China soared past 500 million last year, a tech-industry group said Monday, capping a period of explosive growth that has elevated Chinese Internet companies and challenged social and political discourse in the communist-controlled state.”

“The government-run China Internet Network Information Center said Monday that the number of Web users in China grew 12% in December, to 513 million, compared with the same period in 2010.”

What’s interesting to note is that, despite the Internet being controlled in China thanks to the communist government, the number of users of social networks or micro-blogging platforms quadrupled in the past year. Of course, larger sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube are blocked so there are other sites similar in nature that offer a workaround.

“Micro-blogs were instrumental last year in exposing government mishandling of a deadly high-speed rail collision in the eastern city of Wenzhou, protests concerning a chemical plant in the northern city of Dalian and corruption in the southern village of Wukan.”

“Today we can say without hesitation that an independent and richly participatory civil society is emerging on China’s Internet,” wrote Hu Yong, a journalist and commentator in a recent article translated by the China Media Project at the University of Hong Kong.”