According to an article by the McKinsey Quarterly that first appeared in the Harvard Business Review on Feb. 24, 2010, Chinese web users outnumber the entire population of the United States. In January, the China Internet Network Information Center, the country’s official domain registry and research organization, reported the number of Internet users in China by the end of 2009 had reached 384 million. That number represents nearly a 50 percent increase over 2008 numbers. Perhaps more stunning, over 233 million Chinese -- twice as many as in 2008 -- reportedly accessed the web on smart phones and mobile devices. That mobile increase is in large part, McKinsey stated, because China’s cellular providers started offering 3G services in 2009.
Residents in the 60 largest cities in China spend around 70 percent of their leisure time on the Internet, according to a survey that McKinsey conducted in 2009. In smaller towns, the corresponding number is 50 percent. In fact, McKinsey reported that the computer is actually starting to replace the TV as an entertainment hub for families.
People in China use the Internet more for entertainment than for work -- playing online games, messaging, downloading music and movies, and shopping, according to McKinsey. One in five consumers between the ages of 18 and 44 won’t purchase a product or service without first researching it on the Internet.
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