NEW YORK: Chinese consumers are significantly more likely than their US counterparts to use smartphones as their primary media device, a new study has revealed.

A joint study undertaken by the Interactive Advertising Bureau in the US and the Interactive Internet Advertising Committee of China, the trade associations for digital media companies in their respective countries, compared consumer smartphone usage habits in each market.

The research found that more than a quarter of Chinese smartphone owners reported watching less TV (28%) and reading less print (27%) as a result of owning such a device.

And when compared to their US counterparts, Chinese smartphone owners were 86% more likely to report less TV usage and 42% more likely to report less print usage.

In contrast, US consumers tended to use their smartphones as a secondary device and to consume other media at the same time.

There were also clear disparities in how consumers in each country used their mobile devices while watching TV. Some 51% of US consumers said they engaged in such second-screening, against just 10% in China.

Similar variations were apparent for other activities such as reading social media (51% in the US vs. 10% in China) and conducting a local search (34% in the US vs 8% in China).

The differences between the two countries were even more apparent in the finding that 69% of US consumers said they would never leave home without their smartphone, while just 6% of Chinese consumers felt the same way.

And while 35% of Americans said that their smartphone was the "first thing I reach for when I wake up," only 7% of Chinese smartphone owners did so.

The IAB urged global marketers to recognise the necessity of a different approach in China.

"Multinational brands must understand that effectiveness of mobile advertising in China is dependent upon an intricate understanding of the local patterns of adoption and develop response strategies suited to the market and consumer behaviors," said Sherrill Mane, the trade body's senior vice president for research, analytics and measurement.

Data sourced from IAB; additional content by Warc staff