Sophie Chen
Nov 14, 2013

China’s wired women connect and shop online the most

CHINA – Marketers take note: Technology and social media play a larger role in the lives of China’s women than in other global markets.

Many women in China prefer smartphones to sex
Many women in China prefer smartphones to sex

Nearly half (45 per cent) of Chinese women in the MSLGroup and Dot Complicated study claimed they would rather give up sex for a month than their mobile phone.

The online survey, conducted between 25 August and 7 September with 3,600 women, targeted females between the ages of 18 and 64 who use the internet at least two hours per week in the US, the UK, Brazil and urban China. The middle kingdom’s women turned out to be the most device obsessed. A majority (91 per cent) prefers using smartphones for information gathering and sharing, rather than a laptop (82 per cent) or desktop computer (61 per cent).

They are also more connected with work colleagues (82 per cent) and bosses (41 per cent) via social media, compared to the other regions. By contrast only 28 per cent of women in the US maintain social media connections with their colleagues and a meager eight per cent claimed connections with bosses.

More women in China turn to social media to stay in touch with friends (74 per cent) and look for information, with 70 per cent saying they used the medium to keep up on current events. Only 46 per cent of those surveyed in other markets made the same claim.

Social media had a significant impact on encouraging women to participate in community activism in China. Close to half said it influenced their opinions and 60 per cent said it made them feel more empathetic about situations other people may face.

The study also showed a quarter of China’s wired women found romance options through social media, and more than half (52 per cent) spend at least eight hours per week on such networks. In terms of popularity, Ozone, a site comparable to Facebook, leads the way as the most visited site (79 per cent) for Chinese women. Sina Weibo (76 per cent) was next with the mobile chat based app, WeChat (67 per cent), following.

But the most frequent online activity was still email (98 per cent) with 64 per cent of respondents sending or reading email 16 times or more within the past 30 days during the survey timeframe. Most significant for marketers was the 97 per cent of women in China who spent time online searching for product or service information or comparing prices (95 per cent). The study revels that the handheld or desktop screen is an essential tool for this demographic when they go to make purchase decisions.

The third most popular online pastime was checking current events (96 per cent) on news websites. So while news is big, shopping was still bigger.



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