China is now responsible for over a half a billion web users (greater than the total population of the EU), following a short period of tremendous growth.

This means that more than one in five people with online access are Chinese, up from 200m in total in 2007.

It was also on track to surpass 1bn mobile connections in Q1 of 2012, with market penetration currently estimated at 72%.

The latest data from Wireless Intelligence shows that China ended 2011 on 973.7m connections, an increase of around 16% year-on-year.

Last year Apple said that China was its second-most important market after the US, accounting for 16% of its total revenue in Q4 2011.

This, combined with a booming market in terms of internet use, means that a better understanding of the Chinese market is a must for digitally-savvy brands with global growth in their sights.

Plus, since the population of China is around 1.3bn and there are 10m new internet users per month - there's still plenty of room for growth.

Online statistics portal Statista has put together the infographic below to map the online shopping behaviour of the Chinese population - including the prediction that it will outgrow the US to become the biggest e-commerce market by 2015.

Vikki Chowney

Published 11 April, 2012 by Vikki Chowney

Vikki is head of community at TMW. You can follow her on Twitter or Google+

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