The number of China’s internet users hit 989 million by the end of last year, an increase of 85.4 million from March 2020. The country’s internet penetration rate was raised to 70.4 percent, according to a report on China’s internet development released recently.
China has seen a rapidly expanding e-learning user base since the coronavirus outbreak. As of December 2020, e-learning users totaled 342 million, accounting for 34.6 percent of China’s total internet population.
The total number of registered “health QR code” users in China neared 900 million since the COVID-19 outbreak, using it more than 40 billion times for occasions like traveling between provinces and entering public places. Health QR codes, automatically generated quick response codes assigned to people as an indicator of their health status, were introduced by a national integrated government service platform among China’s wider epidemic prevention and control efforts. Code-based access has been realized in most parts of the country, with big data playing its role in COVID-19 control and the resumption of business and manufacturing.
China has built the world’s largest 5G network, indicate statistics from the country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). The data released by the MIIT on Jan. 26 show that over 600,000 5G base stations were newly built in China in 2020, which brought the total number of 5G base stations in the country to more than 718,000. Last year, China had more than 1,100 “5G plus industrial Internet” projects under construction, and the number of 5G base stations serving the industrial internet surpassed 32,000.
China, the world’s largest online retail market for an eighth consecutive year, saw its annual online retail sales total 11.76 trillion yuan (about 1.82 trillion U.S. dollars) in 2020, up 10.9 percent year on year. Customs statistics showed that the value of cross-border e-commerce trade in China reached 1.69 trillion yuan in 2020, a year-on-year increase of 31.1 percent.