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China internet report: The entertainment highway

I spent a couple of hours reading the latest internet report by Guo Liang. The main difference between his report and the half-yearly report from CNNIC, is that Mr. Guo only looks at 5 major cities in China. This gives in my opinion a much better view of relevant internet behaviour than by looking at the nation as a whole. Most internet users are city dwellers, and have the largest incomes. The report was especially interesting for me, as I am currently writing an article for a magazine related to online behaviour in China.

Some of the main findings:
– Only 8% of the total population uses internet, but in the big cities it approaches 50%.
– In the big cities 25% of the internet users purchase goods online.
– Only 70% uses email. The main reason are likely old people who don’t need it, and young people who mainly communicate by QQ (China’s major Instant Messenger client) or blogs. Especiallly the trend with young people using more and more IM instead of email intrigues me. Could this be the beginning of a general trend? I have more and more clients and friends that I have short chats with over IM than a year ago. It’s an easy and quick way to get some info right away or to check on something.
– 30% of the users use weblogs. This is probably higher than any other country in the world. The figure is confirmed by an IDG report earlier this week in which a figure of 33.4 million blogs in China was reported.
– Of all people under 24, 80% uses internet, and in the age group between 24-29 it is between 60-80%. But even of the retired people 12% has found the worldwide web.
– People still trust TV and radio more than internet, and the trust in domestic media is still higher than in international media. Especially this last part is something many people outside China might not expect.
– There is a heavy emphasis on entertainment online. The report therefore even calls the information highway the entertainment highway!

See for a more detailed analysis also the articles and links on Fons Tuinstra’s blog (see here for example, there were several other entries on that day).

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