There are now more internet users in China than there are in the United States. Liu Bin, an analyst at research firm BDA, said, "Internet users in China reached 210 million by the end of last year, very close to the 216 million users in the United States. According to our calculations, China has already replaced the United States as the country with most Internet users by the end of last month."
The US has occupied the top position since the inception of internet in 1969 as a network of computers under the auspices of the US Department of Defense which was known as the DARPA network.
However, although there are more users in China, the US still far outstrips China in the value of internet content, advertising and e-commerce.
According to CNNIC (China Internet Network Information Center), a government-backed research institution, the number reached 210 million by the end of last year, an increase of 73 million roughly equaling the population of France. It predicts the number to reach 280 million by the end of this year.
China.com showed how far China could still go. According to CNNIC, China’s internet penetration rate was 16% last year, lower than the world average of 19.1%.