China is swiftly becoming a digitally social nation. It gained over 50 million Internet users last year, bringing its total to 564 million and it has more than 1.1 billion wireless subscribers, 420 million of whom get online from their phones.
The 211-slide report (embedded below) goes over stats for China’s population, Internet usage, social media and the mobile industry. It also takes a quick look at ecommerce, location-based services and online video sites.
One of the most interesting data points that stuck out to me while reading it was the estimate that Chinese social media user spent 167 billion hours across various networks in 2012, based on the average estimate of 46 minutes per day.
I asked Simon Kemp, the firm’s managing director, what trends he noticed as he and his team were compiling the report.
“Mobile! No secret there,” he said, adding that he thinks it’s becoming more and more personal. “It’s all converging on a ubiquitous data layer to people’s everyday lives.”
Kemp pointed to the rise of Tencent’s WeChat messaging service, which recently surpassed 300 million users, as “the greatest testament to that.”
“25 million new users every month at the moment is massive growth, and brands are starting to get in on the action too. It’ll be tricky for [the brands] though, as they’ll need to have an even better think about how they can add value to the more intimate ‘instant messaging + microblog post’ environment,” he said.
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