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The heart of tech

This article was published on January 17, 2013

    Chinese Internet users spent approximately 19m years on social media in 2012: Report

    Chinese Internet users spent approximately 19m years on social media in 2012: Report Image by: ED JONES
    Josh Ong
    Story by

    Josh Ong

    Josh Ong is the US Editor at The Next Web. He previously worked as TNW's China Editor and LA Reporter. Follow him on Twitter or email him a Josh Ong is the US Editor at The Next Web. He previously worked as TNW's China Editor and LA Reporter. Follow him on Twitter or email him at [email protected].

    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 scale of the Chinese industry can sometimes be difficult to grasp, so a new guide to China’s changing social, digital and mobile landscape from We Are Social helps put things into perspective.

    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.

    See also: Chinese government projects domestic Internet population to reach 800 million users in 2015 and Internet use in Asia up 14% in 2012 as online population passes 1 billion

    Image credit: Ed Jones / AFP / Getty Images