Business / Review

Chinese online shoppers least aware of privacy

Updated: 2014-06-17 16:35 By Gao Yuan (

Chinese online shoppers have least awareness of privacy in the world, an industry survey has revealed.

Although 68 percent of Chinese users have experienced data breach, many do not take the steps needed to protect their privacy, said EMC Corp, the company behind the survey.

"The overall confidence in online privacy is low in China," the report said, adding that about 70 percent Chinese online users said they have less privacy now than a year ago. That compares to the global average of 59 percent.

"The unprecedented potential of cloud computing and big data to drive commerce and societal advancement rests on a foundation of trust. Individuals need to know that their data not only is secure, but that its privacy is protected," said Jeremy Burton, head of EMC's Information Infrastructure sector.

Nearly 80 percent of customers in China expect maintaining privacy will get more difficult in the next five years, said EMC.

The report came after the US company surveyed about 15,000 respondents across 15 economies, including China, the US, Germany, India and Russia, in August 2013.

Chinese customers are more likely to trade privacy for greater online convenience, the report shows.

Only 45 percent Chinese respondents consider trading privacy for online convenience a bad deal. That compares to the global average of 51 percent, the survey reveals.

The nation' growing online commerce business lured more than 300 million Chinese to shop online as of last year, according to statistics from China Internet Network Information Center.

Wide adoption of smartphones also pushed online purchases from mobile end.

In the first quarter of this year, turnover for business-to-customer retail neared 190 billion yuan ($30 billion) as mobile shopping surged, said Beijing-based research company Analysys International.

"The survey is a warning call that the idea of transparency, fairness, safe online behavior and trustworthy use of personal data must be shared by business, governments and individuals alike," said Burton.

Chinese online shoppers least aware of privacy