Two-thirds of Chinese mobile users use smart phones: GroupM study

GroupM China’s mobile marketing unit has released research that reveals that two-thirds of Chinese mobile phone users now use smart phones.

The announcement:

Dec 26, 2013, Beijing – mJoule, GroupM China’s mobile marketing agency released its proprietary research report on mobile terminal users’ behavior in China, which revealed that 66.7% of the respondents aged 18 – 55 use smartphones, and 33% of them also own tablets. The average income of dual mobile terminal users is CNY6, 798, which is 62% higher than single smartphone users’ income as of CNY4, 205.

The research also indicated that the two most used mobile operating systems are Android and IOS, with market shares of 75% and 14% respectively. The Android system has a higher market share in Tier 2-4 cities (75%) than in Tier 1 cities (67%).  IOS system is more popular in Tier- one cities (23%) than in other tiers of cities (11%).

In Q2 2012, mobile phone overtook the desktop PC to become the #1 Internet access device in China, and in February 2013, China surpassed the US to become the world’s largest smartphone market by daily activations.

mJoule conducted the research with the aim to further collect and analyze users’ behaviors for smartphone and tablet, understand users’ preference to APPs, analyze users’ attitude and acceptability about mobile advertisements and advertisement value for different user groups. This research also took a close look at six consumer groups, which are upper-middle class males[1], upper-middle class females[2], business travellers, students, sports enthusiasts, pregnant women/ new mothers.

Craig Zhang, CEO of mJoule said, “There have been a lot of research about smartphones and tablets, but mJoule, as a leading mobile marketing solution provider, is trying to understand mobile users from a marketing perspective, especially for some specific user groups, so that we can provide more targeted mobile marketing solutions to our clients achieving a higher ROI.”

Other findings from this research include:

l  The most used APP types are Internet browser, music, game, video, news, social network, e-book and email.

l  A mobile advertisement needs to run three times to make an impression and the audience will dislike it after an average of 4.8 times.

l  WeChat becomes an important channel for brands to reach consumers: 78% of WeChat users follow public accounts on WeChat; 64% have obtained brand discount and promotion information through WeChat; and 47% have participated offline activities after getting event information from WeChat.

l  Business travellers are the most active users among all six groups and they own more mobile terminals than other groups on average: 77% of business travellers have smartphones, tablets and PCs. Business travellers have strong demand for E-commerce, online payment, email and instant messaging. They also pay more attention on travel related information;

l  Upper-middle class males use smartphone for working more often than the other five groups, with special preference to news related APPs; upper-middle class females rely on navigation APPs the most among all groups.

l  Upper-middle class females, students, pregnant women/new mothers and sports enthusiasts are super fans of music APPs. Students and pregnant women/new mothers are most frequent users of social networks; pregnant women/new mothers also love to use note-taking APPs and BBSs.

Tony Chen, President, GroupM Interaction, China said,” Mobile is becoming first access for people to get and share information. Mobile communication tends to from Device Centric to People Centric, from location aware to context aware. As marketers, we need to give ourselves pressure to boost integration communication strategy. ”

“With the rapid growth of mobile Internet in recent years, Chinese users now rely on their mobile terminals so much that they are actually changing their lives. The mobile Internet now is totally different from several years ago. The irreversible era of mobile Internet is coming.” Craig Zhang said, “mJoule is best positioned to identify mobile Internet trends, to integrate media resources from perspectives of platform, creativity and technology, and to explore big data from both online and offline.”

[1] Males with a monthly income of more than 15000RMB

2 Females with a monthly income of more than 6000RMB

Research objectives and methodology

Research was conducted by mJoule to create knowledge and insights on the habits of mobile terminal usage and attitudes towards mobile advertisements. Using online surveys, this research collected answers from 3476 target respondents of different genders from different Tiers of cities. The research was divided into two stages. The first stage involves 2200 respondents from general population and in stage two, 1276 specific samples from six groups were interviewed.

Source: press release


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