China netizen population leaps to 137 mln-govt ctr

Tuesday, January 23, 2007; 4:37 AM

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - The number of Internet users in China made its highest recorded jump to reach 137 million at the end of 2006, a state information center said on Tuesday.

China's netizens grew by 26 million, or 23.4 percent, year on year -- the highest jump since the report began in 1997 -- to reach 10.5 percent of the total population, China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) said in its 19th Internet Development report.

In China -- which is close to rolling out the data-rich third-generation wireless standard -- 17 million people use their cellphones to go online, and 104 million have broadband Internet access, the report added.

The most popular hobby among young people in China is surfing the Internet, state media reported on Tuesday.

CNNIC takes orders from China's Ministry of Information Industry (MII), the center says on its Web site

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