Chinese netizens have hit a record high of 731 million, accounting for 53.2 per cent of the total population, authorities said, as e-commerce drives consumer demand.

The number of listed Chinese Internet enterprises reached 91, with an aggregate value of 5. 4 trillion yuan (USD 786.1 billion). Tencent and Alibaba accounted for 57 per cent of the total value.

Source: b'Source: Reuters'

About 695 million Chinese people -- around half of the country's population -- had used mobile phones to access the Internet as of the end of 2016, the China Internet Network Information Centre (CINIC) said.

Total internet users rose 6.2 percent from the end of December 2015 and equals the entire population of Europe, the government-linked China Internet Network Information Center (CINIC) said in a statement Sunday on its website.

The number of Internet users in China - already the world's highest - reached 731 million, 3.1 per cent higher than the global Internet penetration rate and 7.6 per cent higher than that of Asia.

The number of Chinese who surfed online using their phones increased more than 10 per cent annually for the past three years, state-run Xinhua news agency quoted the CINIC report as saying.

During the past year, the number of Chinese who used mobile phones to make payments reached 469 million people, an increase of 31.2 per cent from 2015.

The growth rate of China's netizen population has stabilised after nearly 10 years of exponential growth, Liu Xin with the CINIC said.

Source: b'Source: AFP'

In 2016, Chinese netizens used Internet-based government services more often than offline service centers and hotlines.

Government information was disclosed to the public in an increasingly mobile, immediate and transparent manner, the report said.

In addition, Internet coverage expansion has helped improve people's living standards and boost e-commerce, the report said.

For instance, the number of Chinese who ordered takeaway online had reached 209 million as of December 2016, a year-on-year increase of 83.7 per cent.

Between January 1 and November 30, 2016, video websites filed 4,430 network dramas with authorities. Quality of network dramas improved, with some ranking among the most popular for the year, according to the report.