The number of China's online users has hit 772 million by Dec. 2017, accounting for 55.8% of the country's population, 4.7% higher than global average, said a report issued by China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) on Jan. 31.
A total of 40.74 million of the online population was newly added in 2017, according to the report, up 5.6% from a year ago.
By the end of last year, 753 million Chinese used mobile phones to surf the internet, consisting of 97.5% of the total online population, up from 95.1% in 2016. With the extensive use of smartphones, traditional devices such as desktops, laptops, and tablets have been gradually left out in the cold.
The expanding online population has spurred the development of mobile payment, which now accounts for 65.5% of the country's offline consumption. The figure was 47.1% in rural areas.