BEIJING, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- China's netizen population, the world's largest, grew to 618 million by the end of 2013, driven by users who surf the Internet from smartphones, an industry report showed on Thursday.
Figures from the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) showed that there were 53.58 million new Internet users last year, of which 73.3 percent use mobile phones to access the Internet.
The number of mobile phone netizens totaled 500 million by the end of last year as people developed a heavy reliance on instant messaging services, the CNNIC report said.
Meanwhile, Chinese netizens were less interested in microblogs, social media websites and social forums, with the number of microblog users declining 27.83 million from the end of 2012, said the report.
The rise of mobile Internet has also triggered growth in the number of users playing online games and watching videos on smartphones, which increased 54.5 percent and 83.8 percent respectively year on year, said the report.
Liu Bing, the center's deputy director, said mobile network will embrace more opportunities this year as the country starts to promote 4G services with even faster speed.