In an earlier blog post, we told you that China’s Internet users exceeded 500 million in March 2012. New data from the CNNIC (China Internet Network Information Center) is now showing that Chinese netizens reached 538 million this past July. And what’s most interesting is that mobile users surpassed desktops users in China.
What does that mean? It means that mobile can’t be ignored in China.
Chinese users accessing the Internet through a mobile device reached 388 million in July 2012. Of all Internet users, 72.2 percent use mobile to access the Internet, surpassing the number of people accessing the Web through desktops (70.7 percent).
Online video site users increased steadily, adding 25 million users in the first half of this year. Meanwhile, video subscribers from mobile grew to 100 million in China. Additionally, according to DCCI’s report, Weibo users account for 88.81 percent of China’s Internet users.
Sina Weibo still dominates the Weibo brand in China. Eighty-eight percent of Weibo users in China use Sina Weibo while 85 percent use Tencent weibo, 56 percent use Netease Weibo, 36 percent use Sohu, and 14 percent use Phoenix. Overall, Weibo users grew slowly in the first half of the year, increasing less than 10 percent.
However, users accessing Weibo through their mobile devices increased significantly, growing by 24 percent to reach 170 million in July 2012. It seems that more and more Chinese are using their mobile devices to consume entertainment.
According to Mediacom’s report, Chinese mobile users are becoming younger. Users between the ages of 18 and 35 years old are growing fast. The report reveals that approximately 79 percent of smartphone users installed apps and 45 percent of smartphone users use apps more than an hour a day, while 21 percent of smartphone users use apps more than two hours per day.
In terms of app installation numbers, Chinese smartphone users install 41 apps on average, this number increased by 28 percent from last year.
Right now approximately 2,300 brands have their own apps, ranging from the automotive industry, luxury, financial services, etc. It seems that some brands have identified a new way to connect and maintain customer relations through smartphones.
Recently we found an interesting app that has become popular in China, called WeChat. WeChat is similar to WhatsApp, but WeChat is more powerful in some ways. For example, WeChat not only supports text chat and audio chat, but also supports video calling in its latest version.
The difference from last year’s Festival of Sports campaign was that it was also the first time Nike China combined QR technology with the WeChat app.
GAME ON, WORLD is a campaign incorporating both an online experience and an offline event. In early June, Nike launched the GAME ON, WORLD on-line campaign to introduce Nike Plus products.
Now Nike is bringing the GAME ON, WORLD to consumers. On the event’s site, consumers are encouraged to use WeChat to scan all the QR codes and collect badges, then share badges or moments on social media channels via WeChat.
In addition, another international clothing brand, Uniqlo, set up an official social media channel on WeChat along with Weibo pages on Sina, Tencent and Renren. (Shown below)
Customers can scan the Uniqlo QR code and add the brand as a friend in his/her social circle on WeChat. Then the customer will get brand updates such as new product launches or promotions. It’s also easy for the user to share the content on other social networks from WeChat.
Because of its infancy, WeChat has not been monetized. But its use is becoming more and more prevalent as brands are combining mobile apps and their other social media channels to more tightly connect customers.