Mobile apps in China - Statistics & Facts

The rise of smartphones and mobile applications have unlocked new levels of economic growth in China. Owing to the country’s highly engaged mobile population and the booming mobile e-commerce, China has become one of the largest mobile app economies in the world. In 2018, China’s smartphone penetration rate was a modest 68 percent, far below South Korea, the United States, and Germany. However, China has already surpassed the United States with over 750 million smartphone users, and this number is still increasing. In 2018, around 32 percent of the global consumer spending on mobile apps was from Chinese companies, compared with 22 percent from their counterparts based in the U.S. It suffices to say that the Chinese mobile app market is thriving.

To understand this rise of the Chinese mobile app market, it is important to first delineate that the industry in China is quite different from other countries. Since Google Play Store is blocked in China,various Android app stores have been developed. Popular western apps are not present in China due to the government’s strict censorship control. Chinese smartphone users spend most of the time on apps affiliated with the homegrown BAT tech giants – Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent. From WeChat and QQ as instant messaging to Sina Weibo and Tiktok as social media, Chinese people have their own popular mobile apps, and some are not even known on the global scale.

When it comes to digital innovation, Chinese consumers seem to be more prompt to embrace technological changes in comparison with many other countries. While mobile app downloads are surging in the world, almost half of the traffic is from China. In fact, in the second quarter of 2019, a report revealed that the average Chinese smartphone users installed 56 apps on their phones. They spent an average of 4.7 hours on mobile apps per day, up from just over four hours in the previous year. The highly engaged mobile users have also become more tolerant of news feed ads. Evidently, the in-app consumer spending is also increasing in the country, especially in gaming, e-commerce, and streaming apps. Considering all these factors, one can fairly predict an optimistic future for the mobile app market in China.

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Mobile apps in China

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