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4G helps push Chinese mobile Internet users past traditional PC counterparts for first time

Mobile Internet usage has outstripped PCs for the first time in China as the advent of smartphones and tablets continues to change the way the medium is consumed in the world’s second largest economy.

Related: Apple and 4G push IDC to raise China smartphone forecast

A report published by the China Internet Network Information Centre [CNNIC] showed that in June 2014, 83.4 per cent of Chinese users accessed the Internet using a mobile device, surpassing the number using PCs for Internet access that stood at 80.9 per cent.

The Next Web added that it is a rise of 2.4 per cent compared to six months ago when a reading was taken at the end of 2013 and the figure also includes tablet computers.

Desktop computer and laptop Internet usage, meanwhile, is on the slide with desktops showing a decrease of 0.1 per cent to 69.6 per cent and laptops dropping by 0.4 per cent to 43.7 per cent.

Internet users as a whole continue to rise in China with the total penetration rate up 1.1 per cent in the last six months to 46.9 per cent, meaning a total number of Internet users standing at 632 million – 527 million of them using a mobile device.

The increased rollout of Wi-Fi access across the country, availability of 3G coverage and 4G’s arrival have led to an increase of the average weekly time spent online to 25.9 hours – up by 0.9 hours compared to the end of 2013.

Mobile shopping is one of the key beneficiaries of this growth as the amount of people doing so reached 205 million by the end of June 2014, an increase of 42 per cent.

Messaging is a further area that is seeing huge growth as the number of users increased by 32 million to 564 million in June 2014 and the usage rate increased to a high of 89.3 per cent.