BEIJING, Sept. 29 (Xinhua) -- A senior government official said Thursday that China's Internet users has exceeded 500 million -- an Internet popularization rate close to 40 percent.
Wang Chen, chief of the Information Office of the State Council, made the remarks while addressing the fourth UK-China Internet Roundtable meeting.
The latest numbers updated statistics released by the China Internet Network Information Center in July, which said the number of users had reached 485 million in June.
Wang said rural Internet users total 130 million, accounting for 27 percent of all users in China.
More than half of Chinese internet users communicate and share information via social networks, Wang said, adding that all types of network applications have been developing rapidly in China.
"China's Internet industry has been expanding in scale and has become an important emerging strategic industry," he said
Electronic commerce offers nearly 2 million direct jobs and over 13 million indirect ones, he said, noting that electronic government services have promoted the innovation of social services and elevated government efficiency and the level of government openness.
The two-day meeting with over 100 representatives from governmental departments, renowned Internet enterprises and research institutes of the two countries ends on Friday.