Domestic broadband users reached 346 million by the end of 2009, 76 million more than that of 2008. Rural Internet users accounted for 28.7% of the users, up 26.3% year-on-year, according to the announcement.
Despite a disparity in Internet use between the urban and rural areas, Internet users in rural areas reached 106.8 million by the end of 2009, an increase of 26.3 percent from 2008. The most frequent online practices included listening to music, reading news, and doing searches, said the report. Though China's Internet users are engaged more in recreational activities, they are gradually shifting to consumption related practices, including tourism reservations, online stock playing, and e-banking, which respectively registered increases of 77.9 percent, 67 percent, and 62.3 percent respectively. China added 40 million users in the first six months of 2009 to reach a total of 338 million Internet users by June 30, up 13.4% from late 2008.