The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

China has almost twice as many Internet users as the U.S. has people

Chinese Internet users in units of 10,000. (China Internet Network Information Center)

Happy Chinese New Year! Despite serving up a relatively restricted version of the World Wide Web due to the Great Firewall of China, the China Internet Network Information Center reported the country has nearly 618 million Internet users earlier this month. That's nearly twice as many people online in China as there are people in the United States. Five hundred million of those users in China are mobile Web users -- which explains why Apple was so eager to get into the market.

But those 618 million Chinese Internet users account for less than half of the country's total population -- whereas the most recent Pew Internet and American Life Project research show 85 percent of Americans use the Internet. So one way of looking at it is there are twice as many people in China are offline as there are total people in the United States.