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China Emerging as ‘Mobile Only’ Market: Study

With smartphone penetration still in the early stages in China, a new study indicates that the People’s Republic could become a “one screen nation,” outpacing the U.S. in consumers who use smartphones as their sole or primary media device.

This is revealed by a cross-cultural report, developed jointly by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and the Interactive Internet Advertising Committee of China (IIACC), the trade associations for digital media companies in the U.S. and China, respectively.

Released Wednesday, August 14, the joint study, “Mobile’s Role in a Consumer’s Media Day in the United States and in China: The Smartphone as an Extension of the Self and an Extension into the World,” compares consumer smartphone usage habits in two of the world’s most important markets.

The research reveals that media consumption is more impacted by smartphone ownership in China. More than a quarter of Chinese smartphone owners report less TV watching and reduced print consumption as a result of owning a mobile connected device (28% and 27% respectively).

In comparison to their U.S. counterparts, Chinese smartphone owners are 86 percent more likely to report less TV usage and 42 percent more likely to report less print usage.

In contrast to China smartphone owners’ concentrated focus on the small screen, U.S. smartphone owners are much more likely to consume other media with their mobile devices in hand. For example, while watching TV, smartphone users report participating in:

  • Internet communication (51% U.S. vs. 10% China)
  • Reading social media (38% U.S. vs. 9% China)
  • Conducting a local search (34% U.S. vs. 8% China)

The data shows similar disparities when it comes to reading print media.

To read the full report, go to

Photo courtesy: IAB

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