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We Are Social's 'Social, digital and mobile in China' report provides insight into the country's 564million internet users


By Gillian West, Social media manager

January 17, 2013 | 3 min read

According to the ‘Social, digital and mobile in China’ report, China now has 564 million internet users with an online population growth rate of more than four million new users every month.

Published as part of We Are Social’s Asia series, the report offers a detailed picture of online behaviour and trends across China, including social, internet and mobile statistics.

China’s internet users outnumber the entire population of Western Europe, continuing to grow at a rate of 1.6 new users per second. China now accounts for over half (51 per cent) of Asia’s internet users.

Mobile is the primary internet access device in China, with three-quarters (75 per cent) of the online population using their mobile phone to access the internet. China’s mobile market continues to expand with four new subscriptions every second, accounting for some 10 million new subscriptions every month, with mobile internet opportunities cited as the most important thing by Chinese mobile users.

According to the report, internet users in China spend an average of three hours a day online across all devices with instant messaging proving to be the most popular online activity accounting for 88 per cent of time spent online. Web search and online music followed with 80 per cent and 77 per cent respectively.

Online finance activities such as internet banking were found to be the fastest-growing internet pass time, with more than 220 million Chinese people now using these services. The value of e-commerce in China now equates to 15 per cent of the country’s GDP, which is more than the entire GDP of Mexico.

There are at least 597 million active social media users in China, across platforms such as Q Zone, Sina Weibo and Pengyou. Homegrown internet company Tencent dominates social media in China hosting around 56 per cent of the country’s social media accounts; QZone is home to at least half of Asia’s social media population.

Weibo was shown to be one of the fastest growing social media service with more than half a billion registered users, 89 per cent of China’s internet users were also found to have used Weibo at some point. Over half of its users (55 per cent) were born in the 1980s, making 49-year-old Brad Pitt one of the platform's oldest users.

China’s social media users spend an average of 46 minutes per day accessing social media sites. Two-thirds of China’s social media users interact with brands in some way through social media sites, and engage with an average of eight brands each.

The full 211-page report can be accessed on We Are Social’s blog.


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