Chinese Internet users are more likely to depend on their online experiences, and see the Web as a key to socializing and sharing opinions, than their U.S. counterparts, according to a study released on Friday.

A survey of more than 2,100 Internet users aged 16 to 25 years old in both countries showed that about 42 percent of users in China said they at times felt addicted to their Web use compared with 18 percent of U.S. users.

The study was conducted by Internet conglomerate IAC/InterActiveCorp and advertising agency JWT, part of WPP Group.

The surveys were taken online in November, in English and in Chinese. The study noted that only about 10 percent of China's population uses the Internet, with a higher proportion of them young men living in major cities.

Nearly 25 percent of Chinese users said they would not be able to spend more than a day without the Internet compared with 12 percent of U.S. participants.

Less than a third of Americans said the Internet contributes to their social life, but 77 percent of Chinese users said the Web helped them make friends.

Nearly three-quarters of Chinese users said they were free to do and say things online that they would not do in the real world, compared with 32 percent of U.S. users.

(Reporting by Michele Gershberg, editing by Jacqueline Wong)