Mobile commerce trends in China

Everyone with the slightest interest in China knows that it has the largest base of internet users in the world. Despite internet restrictions and government censorship Chinese internet users are doing everything bigger, better, and more frequently than their counterparts in the West. A growing economy and a rapidly expanding middle-class means there are plenty of Chinese consumers out there who can afford, and desire to own, the latest technology and gadgets. It is hardly surprising therefore that mobile internet usage is on the rise. And with companies going where their customers are, mobile commerce platforms are quickly developing to cater to the desire for fast and portable shopping. We take a look at some of the mobile usage statistics that are driving these mobile commerce trends.

80% of Chinese internet users are mobile

In 2013 China had 618 million internet users. Of these, a staggering 80% were users who went online via their smart phones or other mobile devices. The numbers of users who went online with their smart phones specifically in order to watch or download video content reach 250 million alone. That represents an increase of 83% on the number of mobile internet users accessing video in 2012. It is believed that as 4G networks are rolled out across the country mobile internet use, and specifically video consumption, will continue to rise (source: CNNIC).

Mobile internet user demographics

As of 2013 there was a fairly even split in gender usage of mobile internet, with men accounting for 6% more of the market than women. Mobile internet users tend to be young, between the ages of 18 and 31, with the age bracket 25 to 30 being the largest single demographic, with over 31% of users falling in to this group. Only 13% of all mobile internet users were aged 40 or over (source: CNNIC).

Online Behaviours

As of 2013 Q2, online shopping held the biggest share of the mobile market, with over 38%. 17% of users listed online shopping as their top activity. Nearly 72% of mobile internet users admitted to going online several times a day, with the most popular times for mobile browsing being whilst waiting for transport (54.2%) and while commuting (47.3%) (source: CNNIC).

The rise of the mobile commerce platform

These statistics help to explain why mobile shopping is becoming so popular. We have already noted in previous blog posts that the older generations in China tends to be more frugal with their spending. The young age, affluence, and technological savviness of mobile internet users makes it the perfect way for companies to do business with their target markets. The popularity of the instant messaging, news, and mobile commerce platform app WeChat, which now has 355 million registered monthly users, is proof that mobile commerce trends of growth are set to continue for some time yet (source: Tech in Asia).

(Image source: ‘Commerce Definition On Smartphone Showing Commercial Activities’ |