The Chinese government has set a goal of doubling online ad revenue by 2019, a senior official has said, in a sign that Beijing will spend more to keep pace with the global rise of the internet.

The announcement comes amid rising concerns about how online advertising will be used by the Chinese government, which has long resisted regulations and restrictions on internet use and access.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has also sought to expand the use of social media and become more politically active.

On Thursday, he announced a plan to allow online adverts to be displayed in official Chinese social media sites, including the social media platforms WeChat and Weibo.

The goal is to cut adverts in excess of a hundred million yuan ($16.5m; £10.9m) a year.

The official Xinhua news agency reported the goal was part of a broader effort to reach a million online users by 2019.

The goal has been met in the past, with the Chinese Government spending $25.2bn (£16.9bn) in 2014 on online ad campaigns, and spending more than $150bn (£100bn) this year.

But that growth is expected to stall, with a recent report by market research firm comScore showing that online advertising revenue fell 15% to $8.7bn in 2017, with less than a third of it coming from Chinese companies.

This year’s spending has fallen further, comScore said.

It has been a slow start for the government.

The government has already invested $60m in the internet marketing market in 2020, though it is not clear if the investment will be enough to make it a player in the industry.