Insight & Analysis

China’s Internet Revolution: 8 Stats that May Surprise You!


Chinese internet stat

Internet use in China is booming, with 668 million users online in July 2015, up 38% from four years ago. According to the figures from China Internet Watch (CIW), users spend an average of 26 hours a week online.

As you might imagine, these figures show there is huge potential for Australian internet marketers of goods and services.

Here are a few more interesting stats on internet use in China.

The stats on general internet use

According to CIW, some of the statistics for internet use are as follows:

  1. By age – the highest level of internet use by age is in the 20-29 age bracket at 31%, followed by 10 to19-year-olds at 24%. This contrasts strongly to the 50-60 age bracket at 4% and the over 60s at 2%.
  1. By region – the majority of internet users come from urban regions at 72%, a statistic which is probably not too surprising.
  1. By device – mobile is the most popular device, being used by almost 90% of users, followed by desktop at 68% and laptop at 43%.
  1. By income – the highest internet use belonged to people earning 3,001-5,000 yuan per month at 22%, followed by 2,001-3,000 yuan earners at 21%. This drops sharply to 8% for those in the 5,001-8,000 yuan per month earnings range, and 5% for those earning the highest incomes at more than 8,000 per month. To put that in perspective, China’s average income in 2014 was 4,700 yuan per month, putting the highest internet-use group by income squarely in the average income bracket.
  1. By gender – higher numbers of males (55%) use the internet than females (45%).
  1. By educational background – this might be surprising in that people with junior high school education levels were the highest users at 37%, higher than senior high at 31%, and also considerably higher than those with bachelor degrees or higher which represent only about 12%.
  1. By activity – search engine use is high at 536 million users, while online shopping comprises around 374 million. In addition, around 229 million users make use of the internet for travel bookings – such as purchasing train and airline tickets, and making hotel reservations. Other uses for the internet include literature, gaming, instant messaging, finance, and video.
  1. According to CIW, surveys show there are more male than female online shoppers in China (55% compared to 45%), with the vast majority (around 80%) of these being high income earners (more than 8,000 yuan per month) and highly educated. However when it comes to international online shopping, females in the 30-40 age bracket represent the highest numbers. Also, around 358 million internet users make use of online payment systems to pay for goods and services.

What does it all mean?

Essentially, it means that the internet gets plenty of use in China, and that a high proportion of people are keen on using the internet for online shopping and payments.

Some of the stats certainly would seem to have implications for Australian businesses selling online to China in 2016. For example, when it comes to online shopping, it appears that high income earners account for the highest numbers, but that women in the 30-40 age bracket may be the main ones to target for international online shopping – depending on the product of course!

For assistance in marketing to China, contact our team. We have years of experience in localising marketing material to suit Chinese audiences.

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