BEIJING: International news channels reach close to half (45%) of affluent Chinese consumers, who find ways of accessing the content despite censorship restrictions.

That is one of the findings from a pilot study on media consumption among wealthy Chinese conducted by research firm Ipsos, which also released a separate wider survey into the media preferences of affluent consumers in 10 other markets.

For its China segment, Ipsos polled 540 affluent consumers in the cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou and confirmed that digital is a significant channel for accessing foreign media.

As reported by Campaign Asia, international news media have a combined reach of 45%, but digital consumption (32%) surpasses TV (24%) and Ipsos attributed this to the proliferation of technology.

"As long as there is demand for international content, the affluent subscribers will find a way to access it," explained Clare Lui, Executive Director of Ipsos Connect.

She went on to say that Chinese language editions are useful for trusted brands, such as the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal, but that trust in the source material is the main motive driving affluent Chinese consumers to access international media.

"It is always helpful to have a local version of the international print in order to get the content to register on people's mind," she said. "But let's not forget that the main reason readers choose international media is because they want to access a credible source in the first place."

For its wider Affluent Asia study, Ipsos surveyed more than 19,100 affluent people in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, Indonesia, India, the Philippines, South Korea and Australia.

It found that affluent consumers in the region are consuming more content on digital, but that traditional media still accounts for just over half of the average 7.39 hours a day they spend on media.

While visiting websites and using apps account for 1.86 hours and 1.7 hours respectively, 2.23 hours on average are spent watching TV as well as reading newspapers (0.82 hours) and reading magazines (0.78 hours).

Data sourced from Campaign Asia; additional content by Warc staff