BEIJING, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- The number of Internet users in China is estimated to have reached 505 million as of November 2011, up from 485 million at the end of June, the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) said Wednesday.
The Internet penetration rate rose to 37.7 percent in November, up 3.4 percentage points from the end of 2010, according to a CNNIC report released at a conference here.
As of the end of November, the number of microblog users exceeded 300 million, jumping from 195 million by the end of June, the report said.
The rapid growth of China's Internet population, already the largest in the world, has spurred expansion in the country's Internet economy.
The value of China's Internet economy surged 72.7 percent year-on-year to 71.6 billion yuan (11.3 billion U.S. dollars) in the third quarter of 2011, according to statistics from the Shanghai-based Internet consulting firm iResearch.
Microblogging, electronic commerce and mobile payment services all continued to maintain a high speed of growth in 2011, Gao Xinmin, vice president of the Internet Society of China, said at the conference.