Over two thirds (71%) of China’s web users access the mobile internet everyday, up from just 35%£ in 2008, according to new research.
The percentage of mobile internet users in China who accessed the web from a mobile device at least once a day reached 71% in 2012, according to Kantar Media’s CNRS-TGI study. This was an increase of 11% on the previous year.
China’s netizens now number 591 million (44% of the population), of which 464 million – over three quarters – are mobile internet users (source: China Internet Network Information Center).
Kantar Media data shows that the majority of China’s mobile netizens (45%) were people born in the 1980s, aged between 23 and 32. Geographically, the penetration of mobile internet users is highest in China’s Tier One cities (Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen) at 38%.
Chat/dating is over half of mobile internet users’ favourite activity (59%), while 43% claim they often access social media on the move. 32% of mobile internet users said they had visited social networking sites in the last day, compared with 26% of all China’s netizens.
On average, Chinese city residents spent 54 minutes each day accessing the internet on a mobile device in 2012. Longer commutes, worsening traffic and the proliferation of business travel has helped drive the fast development of mobile internet, which provides entertainment in an increasingly fragmented day: in 2012, people whose commute was longer than one hour were three times as likely to access mobile internet as those whose commute took less than 30 minutes.
Mobile internet users are very keen on high-tech products, with laptop ownership at 59% – 19% higher than that of the total population. 57% agree that they are “often the first to buy new products”, compared to 45% overall, while 58% are “trying to keep up with developments in technology”, higher than the average of 51%.
Shen Ying, General Manager of CTR Media & Consumption Behavior, CNRS-TGI China, said: “China’s mobile internet market is growing rapidly – the number of users accessing it every day has risen to 71% from 34% in 2008. The increase is largely being driven by the desire for social networking and the fragmentation of ‘social’ time created by longer commutes. Businesses who want to reach this growing audience of mobile netizens will need to build their digital communication strategies on a sound understanding of how consumers’ broader lifestyle influences their mobile internet usage.”
Kantar Media’s CNRS-TGI consumer behaviour survey is based on a sample of 100,000 15-69 year olds. It measures consumer product and brand usage, media behaviour and attitudes. Interviews are conducted face-to-face, using a self-completion survey and online.