China's online population rises to 564 million as mobile Web surfing grows

BEIJING, China – China’s population of Internet users rose 10 per cent last year to 564 million, driven by explosive growth in the popularity of mobile Web surfing.

The country’s Internet industry group reported Tuesday that the country added 51 million new Internet users last year, a number bigger than the population of Spain.

Chinese leaders encourage Internet use for business and education but try to block access to material considered subversive or obscene and are tightening controls. A law enacted last month requires users to register their names following online complaints about official abuses that rattled communist leaders.

The China Internet Network Information Center said the number of Chinese Web surfers who go online from mobile phones, tablet computers and other wireless rose 18.1 per cent last year to 420 million.