China’s internet users increased at the fastest pace in three years, according to a report by the state agency responsible for the industry. The Chinese internet market expanded 6.2% in 2016, gaining 43 million internet users – equivalent to the population of a Ukraine or Argentina – to put the total number of users at 731 million, according to data by the China Internet Network Information Centre. Penetration rate rose by 3.1 percentage points to 53.2%, the CINIC data showed. The 2016 growth pace has slowed from the double-digit clip that was recorded five years ago, when smart phones first became the engine driving the country’s internet usage, according to the South China Morning Post. Already, 95.1% of China’s users, or 695 million people, access the internet through their phones, with the growth rate rising to a plateau.
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