65% of Chinese mobile users go online with their phone

in Mobile trends
on Monday January 27, 2014 @ 6:10

China hits 807 million mobile internet subscriptions, or 65% of all mobile subscriptions, in 2013.

China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology recently released fresh telecom industry statistics and they make for a fascinating study.

We pulled the headline figures into the image below but let's put them into perspective.

China 2013 telco, mobile and internet statistics

The total population of China stands at around 1.350 billion. For comparison the population of the United States of America is "only" 315 million which puts it in #3 spot in the world.

China currently has 1.229 billion mobile subscriptions and 2G still rules although the scales are tipping towards 3G slowly. There are "only" 267 million fixed-line subscriptions although normally several people use the same landline.

Same goes for broadband accounts where a whole household may be using the same broadband connection.

It's the mobile internet subscribers that blew us away

The most important number from our point of view is the number of mobile internet subscribers - a whopping 807 million or 65% of the total mobile subscribers. That is massive!

It also means that mobile market research will give anyone the widest possible reach compared to what's possible with CATI or online research.

Social has overtaken SMS

Another revealing number is the total number of SMS messages sent in China in 2013. On its own it's very impressive - 892 billion messages which means that every single Chinese person sent almost 700 messages in a year.

However, WhatsApp, which is globally the largest social messaging app with 430 million active users, does over 500 billion messages a month now. WeChat, which originates from China and has around 272 million active users, is likely to have lover monthly message volume but even then I'm willing to bet the total number of messages in 2013 was higher than SMS texts sent.

WeChat isn't just a chat app (unlike WhatsApp) but rather a platform and it will be interesting to see how open it'll be to attempts to use it for market research either via chat communities, polling games or something completely novel.

Hat tip to Marbridge Consulting for sharing the data.

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