The number of youth netizens in China continues to grow. According to the China Youth Internet Behavior Report 2011 recently issued by CNNIC (China Internet Network Information Center), an official state agency under the Ministry of Information Industry, by the end of December 2011, youth netizens had reached 232 million, accounting for 45.1% of the whole netizen population in China and 64.4% of the China’s young population. In 2011, the number of new youth netizens was 19.36 million, an increase of 9.0% compared to that of the previous year.
Furthermore, mobile phones have become the most important terminal for young netizens. Approximately 73.0% of them, or 94.41 million, use mobile phones more frequently than PCs to surf the Internet. The most popular application for them is instant messaging (online chatting); 86.2% of the young netizens use it frequently, while 67.7% use their phones also for mobile search and 52.8% for mobile music. In addition, they also spend much of their time on their phones using social networks, reading online news, surfing Weibo, looking at Internet literature and playing online games.
The rapid growth of the youth netizen population has largely been the result of a price war in the smartphone market. With more and more smartphones priced less than 1,000 yuan ($157) in China, youths are increasingly likely to buy one, as many of them can’t afford high-end phones. Additionally, smart phones are cheaper and more convenient than PCs and laptops. Chinese netizens prefer IM (instant messaging), which differs from that of Americans. This is part of the reason why Weixin and Miliao have been so popular.
Translated from the Chinese original by Stella Wang (CNNIC)
Edited by Matt Johnson