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China adds 51m web users in 2012

China's population of internet users rose 10% last year to 564 million, driven by explosive growth in the popularity of mobile web surfing.

The country's internet industry group reported that the country added 51 million new internet users last year, a number bigger than the population of Spain.

Chinese leaders encourage internet use for business and education but try to block access to material considered subversive or obscene and are tightening controls. A law enacted last month requires users to register their names following online complaints about official abuses that rattled communist leaders.

The China Internet Network Information Centre said the number of Chinese web surfers who go online from mobile phones, tablet computers and other wireless rose 18.1% last year to 420 million.

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