China’s online population is almost as big as the entire US population. Yet oftentimes, just like what happened to the term “Chinese consumers,” people tend to talk about China’s online population as a unified whole whereas there are just as many internet users as there are Chinese consumers.

Earlier in April, Tencent Mind, an online intelligence branch of China’s internet giant, interviewed 3133 internet users in 9 cities in China and analyzed their different online behaviors and values by city tiers. These differences were then mapped along scales of group vs. individual and virtual vs. reality.

Key findings:

  • Strongest values for internet users in Tier 1 cities in China and top things they do with the Internet: control in life, social network of friends and individualism.

Those living in Tier 1 cities are the most mature internet users in China. Due to the hectic city life and lack of spare time, internet uses in Tier 1 cities are more likely to use the Internet as a platform to manage both their online and offline personal networks and to keep in touch with friends.

  • Strongest values for internet users in Tier 2 cities in China and top things they do with the Internet: shared interests/interaction, word of mouth, news/information, entertainment and control in life.

Those living in Tier 2 cities have a relatively laid-back lifestyle and much more spare time. They keep a lot of their personal relationships offline. They use the Internet more as a tool to solve real-life problems, to learn and to widen their horizon.

  • Strongest values for internet users in Tier 3 cities in China and top things they do with the Internet: perspective/opinion, learning, individualism, entertainment and happiness.

Those living in Tier 3 cities see the Internet as a window to the outside world. They believe that they can find an answer to all the questions in life on the Internet.

  • Strongest values for internet users in Tier 4 cities in China and top things they do with the Internet: recognition/self-actualization, freedom, escapism and making friends online.

Those living in Tier 4 cities have much less pressure in life. At the same time, they also have fewer opportunities to learn about the outside world and fewer options of entertainment. They look to the Internet for games, making new friends and fun.

China has about half a billion internet users, one fifth of the entire global online population. Size-wise, it is the largest. A typical Chinese internet user spends about the same amount of time online per week as a typical US internet user does. But when it comes to online behavior,  Chinese internet users have some very unique characteristics that are different from their global counterparts.
CNBeta pulled up a nice infographic decoding the online behaviors of Chinese internet users. Some key takeaways according to the data:
52.1% of China’s entire population will be online by the year 2016.
73.5% of China’s online population live in urban areas.
China’s internet penetration rate is 38.3%.
Chinese internet users spend an average of 18.7 hours online per week.
More people (415 million) use instant messengers than search engines (407 million).
Portal websites are more popular and more frequently-used than are search engines.
As of November 2011, China had 145 million online shoppers, only second to the US
Chinese online shoppers are VERY active, making an average of 8.4 purchases per month, almost twice as much as a typical US online shopper purchases.  
China will surpass the US as the largest e-commerce market by 2015. 

China has about half a billion internet users, one fifth of the entire global online population. Size-wise, it is the largest. A typical Chinese internet user spends about the same amount of time online per week as a typical US internet user does. But when it comes to online behavior,  Chinese internet users have some very unique characteristics that are different from their global counterparts.

CNBeta pulled up a nice infographic decoding the online behaviors of Chinese internet users. Some key takeaways according to the data:

  1. 52.1% of China’s entire population will be online by the year 2016.
  2. 73.5% of China’s online population live in urban areas.
  3. China’s internet penetration rate is 38.3%.
  4. Chinese internet users spend an average of 18.7 hours online per week.
  5. More people (415 million) use instant messengers than search engines (407 million).
  6. Portal websites are more popular and more frequently-used than are search engines.
  7. As of November 2011, China had 145 million online shoppers, only second to the US
  8. Chinese online shoppers are VERY active, making an average of 8.4 purchases per month, almost twice as much as a typical US online shopper purchases.  
  9. China will surpass the US as the largest e-commerce market by 2015.