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News//China's aging internet explorers

News//China's aging internet explorers

A report by the China Internet Network Information Center says that by the middle of last year, roughly 25 percent of China's 751 million internet users were aged 40 or above. Those aged 50 or more accounted for over one-tenth of the online population, up by more than 10 percent from the end of 2016, the report said. That makes the elderly in China a growing force in cyberspace.

25% of China by 2030

How large is this group? By the end of 2016, more than 230 million Chinese were older than 60. The government predicts the country's elderly will account for about 25 percent of the population by 2030.

In an era of information accessibility, many elderly people are beginning to explore the internet to enrich their lives, with 98.5 percent using Tencent's WeChat messaging app.

About 70 percent make videos to share online, 40 percent use the internet to pay mobile phone bills and 30 percent shop online, according to a report by Tencent and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Many also know how to give money in virtual red envelopes-or hongbao-via WeChat.

An internet explorer

For 67-year-old retiree Yin Yuzhen, using internet tools helps make life much easier.

Yin and her husband live on the fourth floor of a building in Beijing that has no elevator.

"Shopping for heavy items like cooking oil and staple foodstuffs such as rice and flour used to be a big headache," she said. "Now we have delivery of such things to our doorstep, sparing us from that trouble."

When going out, Yin usually books a car service via an app on the smartphone her son gave her two years ago as a birthday gift.

"Nowadays, we cannot live without the internet and the mobile phone, particularly when our son is far away from us," she said.

Source: China News Service - ECNS.com