One of the staggering numbers introduced during the opening remarks at ICANN 46 here in Beijing by multiple speakers, including ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade and speakers from the Chinese government, was this:
China now has over 564 million Internet users!
Think about that for a minute.
Most estimates these days are that there are around 2 billion people around the world using the Internet. We have no real way of knowing exactly how many people are online, but the estimate most of us use is "2 billion".
So if we go with that estimate, these latest numbers out of China would mean that China represents around 25% of all Internet users. A rather amazing growth given that the ICANN 46 welcoming remarks also indicated that in 2002 China only had 59 million Internet users.
Less surprising to me was the stated fact that 75% of Chinese users are mobile Internet users. I think most of us can clearly see both in industry trends and in our own personal usage that Internet usage is increasingly moving to a mobile-centric world.
Still, let's think about the scale of that percentage: 75% of 564 million represents 423 million mobile Internet users — about the size of the entire population of the USA and Mexico combined.
A rather huge number of people.
I sat there thinking about those numbers and my mind immediately turned to all of those of us who are publishing content on the Internet. This is yet another sign that mobile consumption of content is increasingly dominant — how well does your website work for mobile users? And while English may be the primary language many of us may use for our websites, how well do those sites work for viewers for whom English is not their main language? And what multi-lingual capabilities does your website have? Or what are you planning to add?
Truly an amazing number of users… and it will only continue to grow!
By Dan York, Author and Speaker on Internet technologies - and on staff of Internet Society. Dan is employed as a Senior Content Strategist with the Internet Society but opinions posted on CircleID are entirely his own. Visit the blog maintained by Dan York here.
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