Lucy Forbes
Lucy Forbes 3 March 2016

Trends In Internet Use – China

In celebration of the Lunar New Year, we have reviewed current trends in internet use in China. Happy Chinese New Year from us to you!

Over 50% of the population are online

China is entering 2016 having reached a milestone in the number citizens using the internet, for the first time over half of the population are online. The country has seen the number of internet users steadily growing, almost doubling since 2009.

688 million people are now online and the country takes the top spot for the largest number of internet users in the world. Although that said, the percentage of people with internet access trails the world leaders, where the top ten stand at over 90%.

"688 million people are now online."

Growth in internet wealth management

With internet usage growing, wealth management has become a key area of growth in China. Stocks trading has experience 54% growth, online payment 37% and banking 19%.

Figures from Nielsen’s Financial Tracking Report indicate trust in online finance tools in the Chinese market. Only 12% of respondents were investing in products offered by traditional banks but 45% in internet based wealth management tools.

7/10 internet users are on mobile

Of these new users, 7/10 love mobile and are accessing the internet for the first time on their phones. This shows the Chinese internet population to be predominantly mobile native, which could help explain the huge amount of success that mobile commerce is experiencing in the country.

Instant messaging

Chinese internet users love to instant message. WeChat has an extremely well developed mobile commerce offering, seriously monetising on the popularity of messaging in China.

Chat plaforms are the most installed on Chinese phones. WeChat is number one, with 81% of mobile phone owners using it and a staggering 650 million active users. QQ, another chat app, sits in the number two spot, having been installed on 76% of mobiles.

Ecommerce is huge

China is a mobile-first, lucrative market in terms of e-Commerce. PWC found 96% of Chinese internet users shop online at least once a month and KPMG predict by 2020 China’s e-Commerce market will be larger than those of the US, Britain, Japan, Germany, and France combined.

By 2020, China’s e-Commerce market is forecast to be larger than those of the US, Britain, Japan, Germany, and France combined.

Singles Day

Online giant Alibaba – who hold 80% of the Chinese e-Commerce market – started promoting China’s Singles Day as a shopping day in 2009 and it is now the biggest online shopping event of the year. It takes place on 11th November and is an ‘anti valentine’s day’.

There was a 60% increase in Alibaba’s online sales from 2014 to 2015 on Singles Day and more than 27 million sales came from mobile within the first hour. With internet users steadily rising it is likely these figures will increase again in 2016.

More than 27 million sales came from mobile in first hour.

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