In China, the Internet usage on mobile phone keeps rising.

The internet usage

In China, everything is done or can be done online. That is the reason why China counts the most online users than any other country worldwide. In 2013, the total amount of Internet user was estimated to 46%, or 591 million of users and then to 632 million in June 2014 (. Year after year, figures keep rising although it is starting to slow down.

To compare :

  • France counts 66 million of inhabitants and a little more than 50 million of Internet users in 2011.
  • The USA counts around 320 million of inhabitants and the number of Internet users has been estimated to 244 million in 2011.
  • China, today, counts 1.3 billion of inhabitants and estimated its amount of Internet user to 516 million in 2011, reaching now 600 million.

Thus, we notice that the total number of Internet users in China two times the US population and ten times the French one. That is that huge number that helps the Chinese search engine Baidu to build its reputation as the “Chinese Google” worldwide. Plus, China possesses its own platforms and social networks and ban several foreign websites such as Youtube, Facebook, Twitter… and the main competitor of Baidu, Google. It permits to reduce the foreign competition online.

Today, the battle is more about the devices used. Indeed, Chinese people use more and more their mobile phone to surf on Internet.

Desktop is losing popularity

According to the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), China counts a little bit more than 380 million of Internet users on PC. Between 2011 and 2012, desktop lose 3% of its users (from 73.4% in 2011 to 70.7% in 2012).

On the regional side, PC is more popular downtown (50.6%) than in rural zone (45.7%).

Mobile Internet is rising

The same information center took time to compare the results between the usage of PC and the one of mobile phone. The figures show that between 2007 and 2012, the amount of mobile Internet users tripled from 24% in 2007 to 72.2% in 2012.

On the regional side, unlike PC, mobile phone is more successful in rural zone with 60.4% of users against 47.2% downtown. Today, on the total number of Internet users, 527 million of them (around 87%) connect on their mobile phone. 

Laptop is showing up

Besides the battle between PC and mobile phone, laptop is starting to impose itself although its figures are decreasing, it is nothing compared to the decline of the PC usage. In 2011, 46.8% of Internet users were using laptop to connect on Web, this pourcentage lose 1%.

China Phone VS PC Digital marketing

Ecommerce : PC vs mobile phone

Since the number of Internet users on mobile phone in China is higher that the number of the PC usage, Baidu CEO announced that 30% of benefits are now coming from mobile Internet.

Indeed, mobile Internet users are showing a different behavior than the PC users. That is to say, when mobile users are purchasing online, they tend to pay higher prices by reducing the quantity. In addition, those purchases are made at midnight or while commuting.

For their part, PC platform users prefer to purchase more by paying much less.

Users who used both devices contribute to 11% of sales et most of them are based on big cities. Also, the old-established users are the one purchasing online because they are used to it.

What does it mean for digital marketing?

Companies investing in Digital marketing solutions ( you, since you are reading this, right?) should drastically shift their focus to solutions involving mobile phone.

Doing this will allow a whole new level of connectivity between the user and the brands. Not only will you, as a company, be able to get even closer to the user but you will also have a better knowledge of its behaviour with :

Geolocalisation :

  • Where does the customer go?
  • What does he buy and where?

Applying geolocalised promotions to improve the number of sales in any given shops will be very efficient in China. Chinese love promotions, premium deals.

Promoting brand events : You have an event? Share it on your website or your Wechat bradn account and here you are, all your followers and former customers will know about it!

O2O Strategy :

Using Wechat and its QR code feature, you will get the chance to very easily and very quickly build a fanbase that will stay up to date with your latest news following an event.

Let’s say, you want to create an exhibition, by putting QR code near every piece of the collection visitors will be automatically subscribed to your brand account and will stay up to date with your latest news. Given that 40% of Wechat users follow brand account for information, this is a powerful tool to influence your community and incite them to buy afterward (Grata report).


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