ASIA OOH: Mobile Internet Seizes Bridgehead for China's Online Market

2013-05-15 08:00 1503

GUANGZHOU, China, May 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- ASIA OOH recently conducted a survey of mobile surfing behaviors of people on the go in four cities in China: Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Nanjing. The findings show that Chinese consumers own significantly more smartphones and tablets than desktops, making their mobile devices the key access vehicle to the Internet. Mobile Internet users are predominantly clustered in economically developed areas as well as in first- and second-tier cities in China. What is this key population segment in China doing with their mobile phones?

90 percent of Mobile Phone Users Surf the Web While in Transit

According to data from EnfoDesk, the number of mobile Internet users in China grew 5.3 times to 606 million in 2012 from 114 million in 2006, an increase much higher than that worldwide. It is expected that the number of mobile Internet users will continue to grow rapidly over the next few years, and will exceed 700 million in 2013. According to a report on the mobile Internet released by iResearch, daily average users of mobile apps and mobile webs in China increased 46 percent and 41.6 percent respectively between August 2012 and February 2013.

Mr. Zhang has a fast-paced job in Beijing's central business district. He enjoys surfing the web via mobile phone while commuting, going out to visit clients, waiting for buses, and taking a noon break. "I live in a suburb north of Beijing, and every day it takes three hours to commute by subway," Mr. Zhang said. "Using my mobile phone to browse information, access microblogs, listen to music, and play games can help me pass the time." However, Mr. Zhang is unhappy with the poor reception of the mobile network on subways and the high data download fees. He hopes that wider free Wi-Fi coverage can be offered on subways, buses, and in the central business district where he works.

In China's first-tier cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, there are many people like Mr. Zhang who are faced with three or more idle hours every day. According to data from EnfoDesk, 86.4 percent of mobile phone users surf the web while transiting around town, whether by bus, subway, or taxi, and nearly half of them spend more than two hours browsing the web every day. With the rapid adoption of smartphones, the popularity of various apps, the decreasing data package charges, and the expansion of outdoor wireless networks, the mobile Internet will play an increasingly important role in the lives of this online audience.

Wi-Fi Enables SHANLINK to Gain Popularity

Miss Chen, an editor at a Shanghai-based magazine, always kills time with her mobile phone when commuting by bus. Sina Weibo, QQ, WeChat, mobile browsers, and games are the apps she uses the most. However, she doesn't have the same monetary concern as Mr. Zhang, as the 82 bus she takes offers free access to the SHANLINK wireless Wi-Fi network. In addition to the 82, many other buses in Shanghai such as the 970 also provide free access to the SHANLINK Wi-Fi network and have become the transport vehicle of choice for Shanghai's white collar community. Miss Chen demonstrated a variety of features of this access, evidencing that SHANLINK has become an integral part of her life in addition to the free Wi-Fi connection.

Mr. Jia, who takes the B19 bus to his office in Tianhe District, Guangzhou every day, also enjoys surfing the web while en route. "Time passes quickly when I'm watching movies, listening to music and browsing the news," Mr. Jia said. "Since the bus provides a connection to the SHANLINK network, I now regularly browse SHANLINK hot news, watch videos, listen to music, and download free apps every day, and sometimes I purchase small items at Shanlego, a site that provides a cost-effective and convenient experience with support for cash on delivery. It makes me feel that the time on the road passes by more quickly."

Balintimes Media Group, the creator of SHANLINK, said that mobile phone users on the go, whether they are on the bus, at the airport, on a ferry, or just walking around the central business district, can visit SHANLINK anytime for high-quality mobile Internet content including hot news, selected videos, e-books, apps, online features, and Shanlego (mobile shopping). With targeted coverage across frequently traveled outdoor areas and the increasing demand for mobile surfing, SHANLINK has received widespread recognition among people on the go across China's major urban areas including Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Tianjin, Chongqing, and Shenyang.

Balintimes Eyes On-the-Go Market

According to research data from iResearch, the user base of mobile apps in China has experienced rapid growth. From August to December 2012, China's average usage of mobile apps expanded 33.6 percent. In terms of the mobile surfing behaviors of Chinese users, the top 10 mobile apps most favored by smartphone users are: instant messaging, browsers, theme plug-ins, videos, games, social networking, e-reading, system tools, online shopping, and online music.

SHANLINK, which was designed to meet the rapid increase in access to the web via mobile devices and the surfing preferences of people on the go, has gained wide acceptance. As a result, Balintimes Media Group has created a perfect reverse O2O model in the out-of-home media sector, allowing offline media to expand to online while developing a unique advantage in integrated outdoor media channels.

As of April 2013, the SHANLINK mobile marketing platform had 8.3 million registered users, which combined with the extensive offline media resources can reach 40 million people in transit every day. Thanks to its growing and sticky mobile user base, the SHANLINK mobile marketing platform has also attracted traditional companies and even Internet giants such as Microsoft, Amazon, China Minsheng Banking, China Unicom, China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation (COFCO), Estee Lauder, L'Oreal, and Tencent. With the construction of more public facilities, transit systems, and entertainment sites, more people across China will join the ranks of those on the go. Driven by the expansion of the smart device user base and the prosperity of the app market, the marketing model based on smart mobile devices will become even more popular.

Source: ASIA OOH