Developed Asia wearies of tech

29 October 2014

HONG KONG: Emerging Asian markets retain an enthusiasm for new technology that seems to have gone missing in some of the more mature markets in the region, according to a new study.

The latest iteration of the ongoing Generation Asia study conducted by the Y&R agency looked at attitudes to a variety of issues, ranging from technology to communications and money, in ten markets, including China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

A series of infographics in Campaign Asia-Pacific highlighted the extremes of opinion held on these matters among younger consumers, aged 18 to 35. Those in Korea and Singapore, for example, overindexed when considering the statement "Too much technology can make you disconnect from people".

Scores of 139 and 125 respectively lifted them well above the norm of 100. This was in spite of the connected reputation these two territories possess. Indeed, a separate Google survey says that, with penetration rates of 80% and 85% respectively, Singapore and Korea are now among the most smartphone-savvy nations in the world.

In contrast, consumers in Indonesia (71) and China (50) were least likely to agree with the proposition.

That finding was echoed in views about communications, where young Chinese consumers overindexed with regard to the statement "I love sharing my life via social media", registering a score of 131, with Hong Kong residents close behind on 122.

The nations most reticent about social media were Malaysia (80) and Thailand (73).

Even in Hong Kong, however, there was an element of dissatisfaction with technological developments as a high number there worried that "Communicating via IM/SMS is making us lose the art of conversation".

Attitudes to life and money also differed widely across the region. Filipinos stood out in their belief that "Happiness is more important than making money" (115) and were also far more likely to think that "What a brand stands for is a factor in buying its products" (127).

Koreans appeared the most focused on money (80) while Thais were less bothered than others about a brand's values (69).

And while Koreans were most likely to regard making money as more important than happiness, they were also the least likely to see saving as a priority (88), unlike the Chinese who always tried to save every month (115).

Data sourced from Campaign Asia-Pacific; additional content by Warc staff