The Internet in China is a busy place – around 836 million people in the world’s most populous country are netizens. In the next few years, by 2021 this figure is expected to top the 1 billion mark. What does this mean for doing business here?
China marketing watchers will be familiar with the numbers. In a country of this size, you need a lot of 0000s when you start counting. It’s why expectations can often be overinflated about China, but that’s a topic for another time.
I want to talk about how Chinese netizens are going online. It’s all about the smartphone.
In 2016, 88% of mobile users will access content via their phones, and in 2015, 71.5% of first-time internet users took their first foray onto the world wide web with a phone.
By comparison, just 70% of Internet users in the USA use their phone to browse.
But why does this matter?
For marketers, it is about how we serve content to our audiences. If we know how people are accessing information, we can tailor content to their requirements.
- It means making sure websites are optimized for mobile
It may sound obvious, but not everyone considers it. A great desktop site that fails to load properly or looks weird on mobile is a massive missed opportunity.
- It means exploring other content formats
China is gripped by WeChat, a messaging app that has evolved to be one of the most powerful information tools in the country. You can serve up specialist web content on this platform, and people will share it around. Download our guide to using WeChat for B2B here.
- And it means registering your website in China!
China’s Internet regulations are tight, and foreign websites sometimes don’t load at all, or load very slowly. You don’t want to lose potential leads because they get bored waiting for your home page to appear. Read our past post on this topic for more details.
The mobile, digitally connected world is changing how people access content and engage with the Internet. Here in China, hundreds of millions of people have the world in the palm of their hands. You can see them browsing on the subway, in cafes and restaurants (free wifi is available in even the smallest noodle joint), everywhere.
It’s a great opportunity for brands, just make sure your strategy is ready for China’s Internet habits.