Why Chinese Prefer Mobile to Access Internet

There was a thread on Webmasterworld about the Internet population in China. There are questinos around:

But why do the Chinese / Japanese so prefer a mobile over a small laptop?

. Here is my attempt to answer the question.

This is just my guess about why Chinese use mobile much more than Japanese or American.

1. More Hand-Free. With relatively very low penetration of cars in China, most of people either walk, or take bus to move. Their hands are not occupied. There is much more waiting time than average American (this is very similar in Japan).

2. Chinese characters. With the same area of screen, Chinese characters can deliver much more information than English. Maybe it is a better user experience.

3. It is not “prefer”, it is the only choice. For most of the users who access Internet via mobile, they have no option to access computer at all. Think about these two numbers: there are 298 million Internet users, and the number of Mobile users was already 547 million (twice as Internet users). Among the Internet users, 1/4 or more of them don’t have a computer – they access via public Internet cafe. If I am presented a choice of using computer or mobile, I may prefer to use computer, but what if computer is not an option?

Just my two cents.

5 thoughts on “Why Chinese Prefer Mobile to Access Internet

  1. Fyre Vortex

    I think another reason is that on the phones that have touch-capability, they can just use the stylus/finger to draw out the characters instead of using Pin-Yin.

  2. Jian Shuo Wang

    @Fyre Vortex, it can be a point, but I would argue that the majority of people using mobile to access Internet are those using the simplist phone – not smart phone or phone with hand-writing recognization.

    Buying a phone, and click a key on the phone, and see the outside world is a great experience for people in rural area or in mountains – the only good way to access the outside world.

  3. Jei Go Chan

    i guess it is cheaper to buy a phone than have a telephone line, modem/router, cables, wifi router. it may also be a matter of convenience since the users don’t have free time at home or want to do something else (watch tv, dvd, read, play,exercise, etc). pricing was not mentioned so you should also consider that.

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