The answer is China (Courtesy of Internet World Stats). In the year 2000 it had only 22.5 million users and as the figures for last year show, it is at 538 million. And yet its penetration is only 40%. The US in contrast has 245 million users but is at 78% penetration. And in third place it’s India. Fascinatingly the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) are all in the top 6 users. And 20 countries make up 74% of internet users.
For those of you interested in China as a leading economy and the impact of the internet on China’s society, there is an ‘Ask the Economist’ debate taking place on Tuesday 9th April at 9am. You can pose questions via their twitter feed or watch the discussion. They ask, “Is the internet democratising China, or granting the Communist party better means of control?” Interesting issues, which link to my comments below about Google Glass and and how technology, the internet and social media have had such a massive impact on society – but how much can they change a communist regime?