BEIJING: For the first time, men in China spent more online than women, due to heavy spending from young men on takeaway food and gaming, in a reversal of the traditional belief that women shop more than men.

This is according to a survey of over 100,000 people across 34 cities in China from UnionPay, the country’s largest payment card provider. The South China Morning Post reported that young men with a penchant for video games and takeaways are changing the view of Chinese spending habits.

Around 23% of men in the survey said they spent over 5,000 yuan (US$777) online per month; in comparison, just 15% of women habitually spent that much. UnionPay has published the annual report for the last decade, but this year was the first time that men were found to spend more online than women.

China’s sheer size and high mobile penetration have much to do with this. The ubiquity of WeChat, with its integrated ordering and payment technology, has brought mobile commerce into a relatable part of users’ online lives.

Moreover, Chinese behemoths Tencent and Alibaba have been driving mobile payment technologies not only in the companies’ home market but across many developing markets in Asia.

Among China, however, the survey showed that over half of consumers use their mobiles for a variety of core commercial reasons, such as ordering taxis and food, online shopping, and retail banking.

Meanwhile, a recent report from App Annie showed that China remains the leading country for app downloads, driving much of the total global growth in 2017. In addition, the report found that China was also the top market in consumer spend growth on app stores, with the country posting a 270% year on year increase.

Honour of Kings, one of Tencent’s flagship mobile games, has become the highest-grossing mobile game in the country, having drawn over 200m players, growing Tencent’s online gaming revenue by almost half, year on year in Q2 2017.

Sourced from South China Morning Post, Wall Street Journal, App Annie; additional content by WARC staff