Chinese Surpass Americans in Web 2.0 Use

November 5, 2007

This article is included in these additional categories:

Asia-Pacific | Paid Search | Retail & E-Commerce | Social Media | Youth & Gen X

Chinese consumers have dramatically surpassed Americans in adopting Web 2.0 behavior, relying heavily on social media for guidance in purchase decisions, according to data from Netpop.

The Chinese-consumer behavior data have broad implications for American companies intent on selling consumer goods in China, Netpop said.

Among the key findings of the report, “Netpop | Nations: China and the US Web 2.0 Behavior”:

  • User-generated content (consumer reviews/rating sites, forum/discussion boards, blogs, etc.) influences 58% of all purchase decisions in China, compared with 19% in the US.
  • 47% of Chinese broadband users post comments to a blog, chat room, listserv or forum, compared with just 28% of American broadband users.
  • Search engines are the most influential source for making purchase decisions in both countries: 46% of Chinese broadband users use a search engine to make purchase decisions vs. 25% of American broadband users.

“As companies increasingly target a worldwide audience through internet technologies, it is critical for marketers and product developers to understand the unique perspectives that countries exhibit in the adoption and use of these technologies,” said Josh Crandall, managing director of Netpop parent Media-Screen LLC.

The data “suggests that Chinese consumers frequently turn to one another, in addition to corporate media sources, when making purchase decisions,” he said.

The study also looks into the adoption and use of internet technologies:

  • The average age of broadband users in China is 32 – 10 years less than the US average.
  • US interent users are more than twice as likely as Chinese users to be age 45 and older.
  • 75% of Chinese online consumers access the internet from work, compared with 41% of Americans.

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