Chinese consumers get digital

19 April 2012

BEIJING: Early adopters in China are more engaged with a wide variety of digital activities than their overseas counterparts, a new study has shown.

KPMG, the business services firm, polled 9,600 "connected consumers" aged 16–65 years old in 31 markets, all of which owned several technology products like tablets, smartphones and netbooks.

It found 66% of the Chinese sample would let their web usage be tracked for the purposes of targeted advertising, measured against a global figure reaching 62%.

Furthermore, nearly 80% of participants from the world's most populous nation agreed they were "willing to receive advertising" when using a personal computer or mobile device.

Elsewhere, over 50% of contributors from China utilised their smartphones at retail stores to obtain coupons, while giftcards also secured 46% on this metric.

More broadly, KPMG revealed that 84% of the panel in the Asian economy displayed enthusiasm for employing their phone as a "wallet", bettering the survey-wide average of 66%.

Another key difference between China and the other countries featured in the analysis was a willingness to pay for online content. Some 44% of Chinese netizens already do so, and 54% would consider this for books, video, games and music.

By contrast, 73% of respondents at the international level expressed a similar propensity to meet charges for accessing such material, up from 57% a year ago.

Equivalent trends were discernible for mobile apps, as just 28% of interviewees in China had never paid for any of these tools, an amount hitting 40% at the global level.

Turning to TV, however, 24% of China's survey community intended to end home-TV services in the coming 12 months, almost double the worldwide total of 14%.

For 83% of this group in China, the main reason for this is because they increasingly watch video content online. Indeed, 80% of those questioned in Chinas "preferred" watching TV shows and movies on a laptop or PC, versus a norm of 51%.

Finally, KPMG reported that 79% of its Chinese cohort preferred buying products like books and DVDs online where possible, compared with the average of 65% recorded on these terms.

Data sourced from KPMG; additional content by Warc staff