Chinese hit record as 162 million users go online

Posted by Mark Raby

Shanghai (China) - China smashed its record by the end of the first half of 2006, closing in on the US as the world's biggest population of Internet users.

The growth of online users in the first six months of 2007 is on par with the entire year's growth of 2006.  In total, more than 25 million people added to China's tally of Web surfers between January 1 and June 30, 2007.

This brings the number of Internet users in China to more than 162 million, according to the government's China Internet Network Information Center.

Of that, about 122 million were using broadband.  Around 44 million go online with their cell phones, though not necessarily as their only form of Internet access.

China has become cemented as the second-largest online population, trailing only behind the United States.  The US currently has around 211 million Internet users, reports Reuters.