BEIJING: Urbanisation, the rise of connected devices and increased social network penetration will be among the main trends shaping Chinese society in the years to come, according to a new report.

Frost & Sullivan, the insights provider, forecast that China would become the world's largest economy by 2025, with its GDP attaining a value of $38tr at current prices.

More specifically, the company suggested 921m people, or 65.4% of the country's residents, are likely to live in cities by this date. This urban audience will be double the size of the entire US population.

As part of this process, the report predicted 13 "megacities" containing 8m people apiece may emerge by 2025, including tier one metropolitan centres like Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai.

Collectively, these megacities will contribute over $6.2tr to the domestic economy by the end of the assessment period, indicating the substantial opportunity they offer to brands.

The analysis also pointed to the development of four "megaregions", each housing 15m individuals, and six "megacorridors" linking two major cities and encompassing a minimum of 25m people by 2025.

The route from  Hong Kong to Shenzhen and then Guangzhou is an example of this latter group, and is due to encompass 120m people by 2025, according to Frost & Sullivan's figures.

Elsewhere, it said China will have the world's biggest working age population by 2025, numbering 922m consumers in the 15–64 year old demographic, approximately 22% of the potential global total.

Within this, the 335m members of the 15–34 year old cohort will make up 14.6% of the Chinese population overall.

Another primary trend identified by the study was the heightened uptake of connected devices from mobile phones and games consoles to televisions and cars, some 7bn of which will be active by 2025.

The country will also boast 1.7bn mobile subscribers at that time, of which around 70% should be using 3G services or above.

In keeping with this shift, the social networking audience in the Asian nation will expand from 319m in 2011 to 792m by 2025, the report added.

Data sourced from Frost & Sullivan; additional content by Warc staff