Business / Gadgets

Ten things you need to know about China's Internet

( Updated: 2014-02-28 17:32

The World Wide Web is colossal

Internet users stood at 618 million, or 45.8 percent of China's population, as of December, 2013. Internet empowers China.

Urban versus rural digital gap

There were 177 million Internet users in rural China, making up only 28.6 percent of the total as of December, 2013, demonstrating limited access to the Web in rural areas.

Going mobile

As many as 500 million people accessed the Web via mobile phones, while 215 million of them played online games as of December, 2013.

Roughly 60 percent of Chinese online shoppers made a purchase with their mobile phones as of December, 2013, a study by payments company MasterCard revealed. The study collected 7,010 results about online behavior across 14 countries and regions in Asia Pacific.

The days are rapidly going when you wave to hail a taxi. Now users have to turn to taxi-booking apps on a smartphone. Didi, one of the most popular, has reached 30 million users, followed by rival Kuaidi with 23 million.

Tech giants have stepped up competition in the mobile world. Tencent held its trump card of WeChat, a mobile messaging and sharing app with 275 million active users as of the third quarter in 2013, while Alibaba, China's e-commerce heavyweight, unveiled its own messaging service Laiwang.

The two have extended competition into online payment. WeChat added an online paying service to challenge Alipay of Alibaba, which has dominated China's online payment landscape for years.

Now it's the turn of taxi-booking apps. Didi and Kuaidi are engaged in pricing wars to lure users, with Tencent and Alibaba behind the scenes. Didi partners Tencent's WeChat, while Kuaidi has joined with Alipay as payment methods.

Online shopping is a Chinese passion

Alibaba reported sales worth 35 billion yuan ($5.75 billion) at its two online platforms and on November 11, or Singles Day, which was billed as a shopping spree day by Chinese online retailers, prompting traditional retailers to rethink their strategy.

Chinese online shoppers are the most manic in Asia Pacific with each spending an average 150 minutes per month browsing online stores .

China is projected to emerge as the world's second biggest business-to-customer (B2C) market in 2017, which will be valued $1 trillion by 2020.

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