Internet trends: marketing research & predictions

Who’s online in China? young, male, urban students

August 8th, 2007 by

No doubt that while I try to focus on emerging trends within world societies, China’s internet behavior is one of the most interesting trend to follow:
First – it’s a trend only in its beginning stage. Although currently only 10% of the population uses the internet, the growth rate of China’s internet user population has been outpacing that of the U.S: China’s internet population grew at double-digit rates over the past three years (by 18% in 2004 and 2005, and 23% in 2006).
Secondly – its all about real big numbers: According to Pew Internet there are currently about 137 million internet users in China (the US holds about 165-210 million users). China is projected to overtake the U.S. in the total number of users within only few years.

Until then, I think it is important to review the current profile of Chinese internet users, and learn the obstacles for others to join in:

China’s internet users profiles:
Current users are relatively young, male, urban students.
Over 70% of the user population is under age 30 and almost 60% are men.
The penetration rate in urban areas is about 20%, (only 3% are found in rural areas).
Among occupations, students make up nearly a third of Chinese internet users, business workers are about 30%.

Near future intentions:
15% of all Chinese non-internet users say they will definitely (4%) or possibly go online over the next 6 months.

Obstacles reported by non internet users:
1- More than one in three say they lack the skills to use the computer or internet
2- Another third say they lack internet access.
(Other reasons reported: 20% say they have no time to spend online, while smaller numbers cite no interest, no use, or insufficient money to go online)

Mobile expansion as a key to understand internet potential:
“The successful mobile phone expansion effort by China Mobile demonstrates a precedent for rural expansion of a technology in China. New rural subscribers represented half of China Mobile’s 53 million new mobile phone subscribers in 2006, which now account for upwards of a staggering 300 million China Mobile phone accounts nationwide.”

Imagine that in few years we would have to understand Chinese in order to grip what are the main forces behind all internet development.
While it is obvious that we would need real effective communication and translation tools, taken it few steps further – it would be necessary to acquire an acquaintance with Chinese customs, idols, and social needs.  

All data presented in this article are based on PEW Internet’s report.

Need more info? see McKinsey 2006 report: The value of China’s emerging middle class

Post to Twitter Tweet This Post Post to Plurk Plurk This Post Post to Yahoo Buzz Buzz This Post Post to Delicious Delicious Post to Digg Digg This Post Post to Ping This Post Post to Reddit Reddit Post to StumbleUpon Stumble This Post

5 Responses

  1. 2007 TrendsSpotting Trend Review Says:

    […] Remembering that Japan, the leading country to blog (!) and the one to promise a replacement for the internet , be it Japan’s Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda’s recent visit to china or 2008 Beijing Olympics or its burgeoning internet population that will soon overtake US ,the Asian dragon seems fiery. The United states ,China , and Japan are the 3 top guns in today’s internet graph (see graph). Going by blog citations our discussions seemed real hot. […]

  2. The Chinese dream versus the American dream: Chinese and US online surveys Says:

    […] After world war 2 and as part of the “American dream” thousands immigrated to the US to find there a home. The Chinese dream, is taking place right these days as more and more Chinese are exposed to the internet. The Chinese need not physically immigrate to an unknown country – they are managing life changes from their own homes.? Follow them on the web: exploring, socializing, and expressing themselves. On one of my recent posts on the Chinese online behavior, statistics were presented to address the so called “addictive” symptoms of the online Chinese users. A reference study to compare the Chinese internet behavior to the US behavior was missing. […]

  3. Love affairs and blogging coming from China Says:

    […] Following the fast growing Chinese internet users community, and? while gathering pieces of information about their profiles and web habits, I found two new? and interesting surveys revealing that: 1.? One out of four Chinese internet users are bloggers. 47 million bloggers! . Note that If you take Technorati’s numbers from the beginning of 07 and re-calculate it = Chinese is probably soon to be the #1 blogging language, or is it already? (Fact is currently no one knows / no one publishes the amount of blogs users generate ..) 2.? One out of five Chinese university students admitted they had at least one Internet lover (38% report that “others they know” are having on-line love affairs..).? ? ? […]

  4. bowflex 552 Says:

    I am 14 and I think I will to begin lifting weights. All of the people around me appear to be stronger then myself so I want to change that. But someone who lifts weights recently was telling me that weightlifting should stunt my growth, so I want to be sure if that is not a lie?

  5. Compare Breakdown Cover Says:

    Valuable information. Lucky me I found your site by chance, and I’m stunned why this coincidence didn’t came about earlier! I bookmarked it.

Leave a Comment

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.

Real Time Web Analytics