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More than half a billion Chinese use Internet

weibosChina now has more than 500 million people on the Internet and nearly half use Weibos, microblogs similar to Twitter, official data showed on Monday.

Almost 56 million Chinese, equivalent to nearly the population of Britain, used the Internet for the first time in 201, taking the country’s vast online population to 513 million.

China already had more Internet users than anywhere else in the world.

The rise in the number of people using the Weibos was particularly dramatic, the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) figures show, jumping to 250 million from just 63 million at the end of 2010.

Rural Internet use rose by 8.9 percent last year to 136 million people, but huge disparities still exist between rich and poor regions, the data shows.