The latest global Digital Society Index survey shows consumers are interacting with technology in more positive ways during the pandemic and key Asian markets are among the most friendly towards adopting new technology.
The Dentsu Aegis Network annual survey of 32,000 people in March and April across 22 markets found that nearly a third (29%) say technology has helped them to connect with family, friends and the greater world during the pandemic. While this figure sounds remarkably low, DAN has publicised it as a positive, noting the same proportion globally say technology also allows them to relax and unwind during this potentially stressful period. More importantly, a growing proportion of people look to tech for solutions to some of the world's greatest challenges in areas like poverty, health and sustainability (see figure 8 below).
At the same time, a growing number of respondents feel that technology is increasing inequality (figure 6) and more than half (57%) of people worldwide still feel the pace of technological change is too fast, a figure that has been steady in the index since 2018.
Asian markets, however, may be less suspicious of technology and more likely to see its benefits. China, in particular, had the highest expectation that technology would be used to benefit society over the next five to 10 years. Chinese consumers also had the highest expectation that products and services would be designed in a way to enhance their well-being. On both counts, Singaporeans also ranked well above average (figures 11 and 12).
While Japanese were among the more sceptical of technological benefits, they interestingly appeared to be the most receptive to personalised digital ads, with only 32% of them finding them intrusive, followed by Hong Kongers at 33%. Contrary to popular belief, the survey found Chinese respondents were among the least receptive to personalised ads, second only to Russia (figure 13).
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