Internet usage in China continues to grow, and the latest figures released by the Chinese government’s Web research organization  show that the total number of online users, at 338 million, surpasses the population of the United States. The impressive statistics – which reflect a 13.4 percent jump from 2008 – had a number of blogs and news sites  buzzing late last week. The full report is available in Chinese here  (pdf), and WSJ’s China Journal blog has a nice roundup of the findings in English here .
The growth in China – and the rest of East Asia and the world for that matter – is nothing new. Last year, we shared 2008 comScore statistics  showing Asia’s internet audience growing faster than all other regions worldwide. And according to more recent information from comScore, the Asia-Pacific region has the highest global share of internet users, at 41 percent (although it’s important to note that the penetration rate of the region is only around 17 percent of the population – well below most other regions – according to this web stats site ).
We’ve seen that increased connectivity through mobile phones and the internet may lead to improved economic growth, job creation and good governance , as well as other activities like mobile banking . And as more people, particularly in developing countries, get connected, this growth trend clearly seems to be a positive one.