One of the interesting points made in this news release by Synovate China is the increase of Mobile web-usage in the Tier5 cities of China. The mobile web usage in these remote areas(comparatively) has overtaken Tier1 cities showing how quickly the lower tier consumers are become digitally savvy in this country which seems to be on steroids as far as economic growth is concerned.
Synovates Media Atlas has an different methodology in the fact that a part of their questionnaires are administered via CATI(telephonic) which might bring out the trends earlier(as by default a telephonic survey reaches the affluent gated communities where Face to face researchers might get access) than what a CNRS or CMMS which interview 100% face to face.
BEIJING: Residents of lower-tier Chinese cities are showing high levels of online engagement, according to new data from Synovate.
The research firms latest Media Atlas China indicates that 53% of 16 to 64-year-olds in tier 5 areas, officially defined as "undeveloped small cities" with a median population of 600,000, have access to the web.
Among the tier 1 "megacities", with a median population of almost nine million people and far higher economic development, this rate is only slightly higher at 61%.
But the average time spent browsing in tier 1 cities was 2.6 hours a day, with 44% going online daily. In tier 5, these totals dropped to 1.4 hours and 27%.
Despite this, the report pointed out that certain small cities showed far higher digital usage rates than the norm. For example, 61% of residents in Puning, a tier 5 city in China's south-eastern Guangdong province, were found to be internet users.
Synovate research director Jessica Liu added: "Internet consumption figures for lower tier cities seem to be lower than those seen in tier 1 cities on average, however the true picture is there are vast regional differences by tiers and cities."
Elsewhere in the Synovate report, the popularity of micro-blogging Weibo sites was revealed to be a nationwide, rather than higher-tier only, phenomenon.Around a third of 16 to 24-year-olds in tier 5 cities had a Weibo, a proportion that rose to 45% in tiers 1-2.
Meanwhile, the lack of fixed-line infrastructure in some smaller cities has been a boon for the mobile internet, with residents bypassing traditional desktop and laptop PC connections and going online via their smartphones instead.
According to Synovate, 28% of tier 5 residents used the mobile web in the past month, higher than the 24% who did the same in tier 1.
"The latest findings from Media Atlas China show the strength in number and the sophistication of mainland Chinese consumers in their digital habits, a nation of increasingly online and on-the-go people," Steve Garton, Synovate's global head of media, added