China has surpassed the US to become the country with the largest amount of internet users in the world. Statistics from the China Internet Network Information Centre (CNNIC) have revealed that over 253 million Chinese people regularly use the internet.
The US recorded 223 million users in June 2008, but the Chinese figures are even more staggering when it's considered that net penetration in the US is 71% compared to 19% in China. Web analysts predict that Chinese web users will grow at a rate of 18% per year, reaching a staggering 490 million by 2012.
According to the CNNIC, web use in China grew by approximately 56% in 2007-2008 thanks to the growth of high-speed internet connections. The Chinese net economy, however, is still hugely underdeveloped when compared to the US and South Korea but don't be surprised if that too changes in the very near future.