The number of mobile phone subscribers in China reached 601 million at the end of June, according to government figures.
The nation added 8.63 million new users in June, for an official total of 53.5 million new subscribers so far this year, according to China’s Ministry of Information Industry. The figures also show that China and India are racing neck and neck in monthly subscriber additions.
India added 8.62 million new mobile phone subscribers in May, the most recent monthly figures available from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. India’s total now stands at 277.9 million.
Both countries boast populations of over 1 billion people.
China’s mobile phone statistics have been accelerating over the years. The nation hit the 400 million subscriber mark in February, 2006 and then took 16 months to top 500 million, which was in June, 2007. It only took another 12 months to reach the 600 million mark.
China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile phone service provider, added 7.6 million new subscribers in June, bringing its total to 414.6 million handset users, according to the company’s Web site.