SHANGHAI (Reuters) - The number of Chinese users accessing the Internet from mobile phones has surpassed that of the personal computer, marking a significant milestone created by the boom of smartphones, a Chinese government report said on Thursday.
China is the world's largest Internet market and the trend represents a turning point for companies such as Baidu Inc and Sina Corp, who need to move their business models toward the mobile sphere in order to capture growth.
The number of users who accessed the Internet from mobile phones rose 22.2 percent from a year earlier to 388 million, compared with 380 million users who accessed it via a desktop computer. It is the first time mobile Internet access has outstripped that of the PC, the China Internet Network Information Centre (CNNIC) said.
CNNIC said in its bi-annual report that half of the new users were from rural areas, of which 60 percent accessed the Internet from their mobile phones.
China had more than 538 million Internet users as of the end of June.
(Reporting by Melanie Lee; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)