Mobile Web overtakes PC Web in China

China has reached another monumental milestone as the number of Chinese people accessing the Internet on a mobile phone has now surpassed the number accessing the Web using a PC.

“Mobile phone has become No. 1 Internet access terminal in China…. In the first half of 2012, the number of Internet users using mobile phones to access the Internet reached 388 million while that of desktop users was 380 million. Mobile phone has become the Internet access terminal with the greatest number of Internet users in the country.” – China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) The 30th Survey Report. (At the time of writing, only an abstract of the report is available in English, not the full report. Fingers-crossed this will be published soon).

By mobiThinking’s calculations (see stats from the mobile operators below), there are 1.06 billion Chinese mobile subscribers, that means 36 percent of them of mobile Web users.

CNNIC’s numbers are considerably less than Analysys International, which estimated (in July 2012) that there were 450 million Chinese mobile Web users. But whether there are 388 million or 450 million, there are more mobile Web users in China than in there are people in the US. I know mobiThinking has said that before, but it’s worth saying again.

Other China mobile stats from CNNIC

• There are 538 million Internet users in China. That means 72 percent of those are accessing via a mobile phone.
• In six months, the number of mobile Internet users in China has risen 32.7 million. That’s 9 percent growth.
• More than 100 million Chinese people watch mobile video. That means 28 percent of mobile Web users watch mobile video.
• There are 170 million mobile micro blog users in China, up 24.2 percent in six months. Popular micro-blogging services in China are Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo – they’re both a bit like Twitter.
• There are 44.4 million users of mobile online payment in China.

Other China mobile stats from other sources
• There are over 1.06 billion mobile subscribers in China (that is calculated from adding the subscriber numbers of the three Chinese mobile operators, see table below).
• As of August 2012, 192.2 million of those are 3G subscribers (see table below). When mobiThinking last reported on this in March 2012 there were 152.1 million – that’s 26 percent growth in just four months.
• There are 248 million users of mobile mapping in China (Analysys International, July 2012). The most popular mobile mapping services are Amap (25.7 percent market share), Google Map (17.5 percent) and Baidu Map (17.3 percent).
• There are more than 230 million users of third-party mobile phone browsers (i.e. the browser operating system independent), (Analysys International June 2012). The most popular third-party mobile browsers are Mobile QQ (40 percent market share), UC Browser (38.3 percent) and Opera (11.7 percent).

Mobile subscribers in China by operator August 2012
Operator Subscribers 3G users
China Mobile 693.1 million 72.1 million
China Unicom 226.1 million 63.7 million
China Telecom 149.4 million 56.4 million
Total 1,068.6 million 192.2 million
Sources: China Mobile; China Unicom; China Telecom via: mobiThinking

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