Mobile Overtakes Desktop Internet in China

When it comes to accessing the internet, mobile has a lot of advantages over traditional desktop PCs, particularly in emerging markets. Top of that list is the fact that it’s cheaper. It should hardly be surprising then that mobile is now the number one means of accessing the web in China.

Ethnic minority delegates look at a photo taken with a smartphone in Beijing in this 2012 file photo. CINC says mobile Internet access has overtaken desktop access in China. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

According to an abstract of a report published by the China Internet Network Information Center:

“Mobile phone has become No. 1 internet access terminal in China…. In the first half of 2012, the number of internet users using mobile phones to access the internet reached 388 million while that of desktop users was 380 million. Mobile phone has become the internet access terminal with the greatest number of internet users in the country.”

As mobiThinking points out, that means that there are now more mobile web users in China than there are people in the US. It also means that at least 72% of China’s 500-million plus internet users are accessing the web via mobile.

Another illuminating stat from the report suggest that in six months, the number of mobile internet users in China has risen 32.7-million. That’s nine percent growth. As cheap smartphones become more accessible, that number will only keep growing, meaning that the world’s largest internet population will be propped up on a pillar of mobile.

Those people are hungry for content too. More than 100-million Chinese people reportedly watch mobile video. That means 28 percent of mobile web users watch mobile video. Again, as smartphones flood the market, that number will grow, pushing data providers to new extremes. They’re also incredibly social. There are 170-million mobile microblog users in China, up 24.2 percent in six months. Perhaps the biggest potential for growth is in the financial sector. There are 44.4-million users of mobile online payment in China, meaning there are massive growth opportunities for businesses in the field to target.

China is not the first country where mobile has overtaken desktop internet. That honour went to India back in September.

This article by Nur Bremmen originally appeared on Memeburn and was republished with permission.