Back in September we looked at a study which, somewhat controversially, suggested that 35.5 million of Twitter’s (at the time) 140 million active users were likely located in China, putting the country top of Twitter’s user league table, ahead of second-placed India, with the U.S. a distant third.

The numbers didn’t sit right with me, nor many of our readers, and with good reason, as Twitter access is heavily restricted on the Chinese mainland, with the country actively blocking the micro-blogging social network since 2009. And while many people around the world access Twitter secretly via proxies, the penalties in China can be so severe that, even in a country of 1.34 billion, tens of millions of people blatantly taking this risk seemed a little unlikely.

And that line of thinking might have some merit, as a new study has suggested that that 35.5 million estimation could be off by several magnitudes.

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