One-Third of Smartphone Time in China Goes to Messaging - eMarketer

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One-Third of Smartphone Time in China Goes to Messaging

Online video in a distant second place

January 18, 2016

Mobile messaging takes up a lot of smartphone time in China, where the average user has significantly increased time spent with their device in the past year.

Share of Time Spent with Smartphones Among Smartphone Users in China, by Activity, Dec 2015 (% of total on the QuestMobile network)

According to QuestMobile, a China-based big data service provider focused on the mobile internet, instant messaging (IM) accounts for a larger share of the time its users spend with smartphones than any other activity. More than a third of all smartphone time was spent with IM in China in December.

Online video came in second, with less than half as much time as IM, or 16% of the total. Mobile browser time was a hair behind, at 15%.

QuestMobile also reported that average time spent with smartphones was 2.4 hours per day in December, up 41.4% over the average of 1.7 hours per day its users spent with smartphones in December 2014. Earlier research indicates that internet users in China ages 45 and younger spend more time with mobile devices than the worldwide average, though older users are somewhat behind by this metric.

Online video may be only the second-largest slice of mobile time according to QuestMobile, but it was No. 1 in time spent online with desktop and laptop computers in China. A third of PC internet time went to online video in June 2015.

eMarketer estimates there will be nearly half a billion digital video viewers in China this year, or 35.8% of the total population. More than three in four, or 373.3 million people, will watch video at least monthly on a mobile phone this year. That’s up 12.3% over 2015.

China’s population of mobile phone messaging users is even larger, however. That audience will reach 430.4 million this year, up 9.9%.

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