BEIJING, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- The number of China's online users hit 829 million by the end of last year, up 7.3 percent from the previous year, according to a report on China's internet development released Thursday.
The country's internet availability rate was raised by 3.8 percentage points year on year to 59.6 percent, said the 43rd statistical report from the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC).
More than a quarter of the internet users are students, followed by the self-employed or freelance workers, said the report.
A total of 817 million Chinese used mobile phones to surf the internet, accounting for 98.6 percent of the total netizens, it read.
Some 222 million, or 26.7 percent of the online population, live in rural areas, up 6.2 percent from a year earlier, it said.