Internet trends: marketing research & predictions

Looking behind surveys: misleading survey on Chinese online users

October 15th, 2007 by

When I bump into surveys relying on inappropriate sampling methodologies or those which purposely present only selected parts of the full scope – I try to look the other way round. I try not to criticize even though they often receive unjustified buzz through the blogging networks. I do my best by trying to attract attention only to surveys I can fully understand their legitimacy.
(Saying that, I have to admit that it will be a great initiative to collect all illegitimate – unjustified surveys in one place that will serve to “burry” them by presenting methodology based doubts). 

There is one survey, running all around that kept me out of peace. Out of future anticipation, many of us are interested in the Chinese online community. It is by no doubt one of the most promising trends to follow. I was therefore not at all surprised to find that many were attracted by a Chinese survey published last month caring headlines as “70% of Chinese Netizens Suffer Internet Health Disorder” or: “White Book: Chinese Internet Users Are Unhealthy” .

I found this survey to be misleading:
First, for my disappointment – the original published survey neglected information about the online population (over 70% of online Chinese users are under 30 and nearly a third of them are students).
Think about it – in most western oriented societies young people lead an unhealthy way of life. Moratorium is a well known Sociological phenomenon that describes young people’s need for time off exploring and socializing. By that, it is no surprise that Chinese online users discovering the open interactive online experience – lead an unhealthy life. Is it impossible to connect the next survey indicators to modern life youth behavior?
• “The White Book says that only about 16% of the netizens sleep eight hours every day”.
• “nearly 70 percent of netizens dine in front of the computer, ranging from sometimes to often, with approximately 2 percent eating this way on a daily basis”.
• “51.4 percent exercise less than three hours a week. 12.5 percent have not participated in any sports for more than six months”.
• more than 40% of Chinese netizens spend their weekends surfing the Internet

Second, the psychiatric syndromes mentioned (depression, insomnia, poor memory, attention deficit disorder, anxiety) are probably not caused by internet addiction but might be closely related to online gaming behavior.

I am afraid that this misleading survey may be beneficial to the Chinese government’s efforts to block and illegitimate the whole internet experience for those to come.

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3 Responses

  1. » ?????:: ?? ????| ????? ?? ???? ?? ???? ?? | Says:

    […] 4. ??? ???? ????? ??? ??????? ?????? ?? ?? ???????? ?????? ??????? ?????? ???? ? ???? ??? ???? ?? ???? ?? ???? ??? ?? ??? ? ????? – ??? ?? ???? ????? ?? ????? ?? ?????? […]

  2. bluesssky Says:

    “I am afraid that this misleading survey may be beneficial to the Chinese government’s efforts to block and illegitimate the whole internet experience for those to come”
    people only see what they intend to see.What you were afraid of is what’s going on now in China…

  3. Chinese suffer internet addiction or China is witch-hunting internet use? Says:

    […] I was closely watching? the Chinese internet users surveys? over the last few months. On the “Misleading survey on Chinese online users” post? I raised my doubts concerning surveys with headlines as “70% of Chinese Netizens Suffer Internet Health Disorder”. I sensed that the government might be deploying an organized agenda to prevent the Chinese internet dream. I think China is trying hard to convince Chinese parents and educators that there is a real threat around. […]

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