The below figure compiled by Mashable and Statista impressively underscores why the digital business is the key to success for market operations in China. Despite the fact that the growth of China’s Internet population has seen a slow-down since 2007, today every one out of five Internet users world-wide is Chinese. That is more than 0.5 billion people in total. China’s Internet population still has a lot of potential to grow in the future, since penetration rates are rather low. 38.3% of China’s total population uses the Internet (world average: 37.2%), while the figures for the US and Europe read 78.6% and 61.3% respectively, i.e. penetration rates are much higher there. The digital target group in China will see further growth in the coming years and we can expect this growth to be very fast.
Chinese netizens spend as much time on the Internet per week as US Internet users do, but Internet usage behavior is quite different. Instant messaging is the most popular tool for Chinese, even ahead of online search and online music. It is also quite interesting that Chinese seem to love to shop online: While the average US Internet user shops online 5.2 times/month, Chinese users shop online an average 8.4 times/month. This is just one of the reasons why quite a number of industry experts predict China to become the largest eCommerce market by 2015.
World’s largest Internet population