China digital market statistics for the end of 2013

Something as fast growing and ever changing as the internet can be hard to document. Figures are always being updated, and the numbers can go out of date very quickly. What they do show you, however, is trends, which give you a good indication of the strength and direction of a market. Let’s have a look at China digital market statistics for the end of 2013.

Knowing how online usage, and the markets it created, changed in China over the course of 2013 helps you to prepare for this year. Collecting a wide range of information regarding your target market helps you to create a strong foundation for your marketing, and the best place to start is with the general state of the market as a whole.

Here is an overview of how the digital market in China stood at the end of 2013.

Internet Users in China

The number of Chinese internet users between the end of 2012 and the end of 2013 grew by 58 million. This means that as of December 2013, China had 618 million internet users. The internet penetration rate has risen 3.7 per cent to 45.8 per cent.

Internet users in China
Internet users in China

With the development of mobile technology (see below), desktop and laptop computer internet usage has continued to decline. Internet access via desktop computers fell to 69.7 per cent, a drop of 0.8 per cent, while for laptops the figure was 44.1 per cent, down 1.8 per cent (source: The Next Web).

Mobile Internet Usage

Mobile internet is one of the biggest driving forces in internet expansion in China. China has over half a billion mobile internet users, and the proportion of internet users going online using their mobile phone was 81 per cent at the end of 2013, rising from 74.5 per cent at the end of the previous year.

Mobile Internet Users in China
Mobile Internet Users in China

Easier and quicker internet access, thanks to the popularisation of 3G networks and wireless technology has played a large role in the growth of mobile internet. The number of internet users who had used their phone to watch or download a video by the end of 2013 had increased by 83.8 per cent upon the figure 12 months prior (source: China Internet Network Information Center).

Chinese Social Media Usage

The top social networks in China at the end of 2013 were WeChat, Tencent Weibo, and Sina Weibo, with 600 million, 580 million, and 556 million users respectively.

Instant messaging is the most popular online activity in China at 86 per cent. There were more than 532 million unique users of instant messaging by the end of 2013, which could be linked to the popularity of mobile internet (source: Social Media Today).

E-Commerce in China

By the end of 2013, China became the leading country in the world for B2C and C2C online purchase. Mobile internet has made online shopping more popular, with 55 per cent of Chinese internet users in 2013 having made a mobile payment. Both the largest e-commerce platforms in China are owned by Alibaba, who report that transactions for its Ebay-like Taobao were 67 seconds quicker when made using mobile payment than on a desktop computer (source: KPMG International).