China leads for the West to follow

John Woodward

America was the obvious place to observe the future of internet behaviour. If not there, then perhaps Japan or Korea. Increasingly, though, it is China that is creating interesting patterns of behaviour. By a quirk of culture and history, it could be that China has arrived today where many other 'more developed countries' will arrive tomorrow.

In China, 2009 was the year of 3G.The key networks massively expanded their coverage and today, 46% of Chinese netizens access the internet by mobile phone, according to the CNNIC. That has permitted a rapid rise in internet penetration and also in the amount of time spent online. According to a McKinsey study published in March 2010, people in China's largest 60 cities spend 70% of their leisure time on the internet, which for many Chinese has become the default leisure choice earlier than in many other countries.