The number of Internet users in China has touched 710 million, more than half of the total population of the country, already home to the world's largest number of web users, officials said today. The country had 710 million internet users by June this year accounting for 51.7 per cent of its total population and exceeding the global average by 3.1 per cent, an official report released by the China Internet Network Information Centre (CNNIC) said today. China gained about 21.3 million new web users in the first half of 2016, an increase of 1.3 per cent compared with figures from the end of 2015, the report said. The CNNIC said that 92.5 per cent of Internet users in China go online through their smartphones. "The number of people surfing the Internet via smartphones reached 656 million, about 92.5 per cent of Internet users," the report said. However, the number of Internet users in rural areas remained low with 191 million people, almost 27 per cent of total web users are from villages, marking a huge gap of 35.6 per cent in the Internet penetration rate between urban and rural areas. On average, web users spend 3.8 hours per day on the Internet, an increase of 0.3 hours from 2015. According to the report, almost 92 per cent of mobile Internet users in China use instant messaging apps and almost 80 per cent use news apps. Mobile search, online music and videos, as well as online payments were also among the most popular mobile applications. Users of food take-out apps rose over 40 per cent in the first six months of 2016, with 146 million Chinese using their phone to order food, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.