China’s Ministry of Industry of Information Technology has published national internet statistics for the first quarter of 2019, providing a snapshot into the country’s digital development.
Internet data consumption rates were arguably the most startling figures in the report. From January to March 2019, mobile internet traffic reached 25.6 billion GB, marking a year-on-year increase of 129.1%, and mobile internet users consumed on average 7.27 GB of data per month, up 121.1% year-on-year.
Meanwhile, China’s mobile internet population reached 1.29 billion, representing an 80.6% penetration rate across the country’s mobile phone users. Altogether, the number of mobile accounts for China’s three dominant telecom companies—China Telecom, China Unicom, and China Mobile—was 1.597 billion, representing an 8.6% year-on-year increase, with 120.46 million new accounts added in the three months from January to March.
China is also moving steadfastly to extend fiber optic cables across the country: 1.35 million kilometers of optical cables were installed in the first three months of 2019, bringing the total length of cable to 44.71 million kilometers, a 14.6% increase from the previous year.