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China's online population climbs to 772 million
China's online population, the largest in the world, has touched 772 million at the end of last year as 40.74 million new connections were added. 
The new connections went up by 5.6 per cent compared to to 2016, a report released by China's China Internet Network Information Centre (CNNIC) said. 
China's internet availability rate reached 55.8 per cent, exceeding the global average by 4.1 percentage points, the report said. 
In rural areas, the online population reached 209 million last year, up by 7.93 million from the end of 2016, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. 
A total of 753 million Chinese used mobile phones to surf the internet last year, making up 97.5 per cent of the online population, said the report. 
Smart devices could tap more potential to grow the online industry, and online public services as well as poverty reduction programmes have created sense of fulfillment for many Chinese, the report said. 
  Source: The Economic Times

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