Consumers in China lead global trends, says research

A new report from Ericsson has suggested that China's consumers are set to lead the world in global communication trends.

The report, released by mobile phone giant Ericsson at the World Expo in Shanghai, says that Chinese consumers are moving towards an "enjoy life" mentality, curious about technology, and more mobile-phone centric than many other developed markets.

Indeed, Ericsson's figures suggest that 22 percent of urban Chinese will browse the internet on their mobile phones weekly during 2010, compared to 13 percent of Britons, 11 percent of Swedes and 17 percent of Americans (although the Western figures represent 2009).

Other mobile functions are also expected to boom.

Just 1 percent used mobile instant messaging in 2008 but at the beginning of 2010 usage shot up to 15 percent, according to the Ericsson ConsumerLab study.

Ericsson believes that China's flourishing youth market, as well as both the booming urban centers and rapidly-rising rural incomes, are now comparable to Western countries in terms of the takeup of advanced services.

That huge interest in new technology, combined with income growth, has made China the world's second largest luxury consumer market in the world, in turn driving other trends such as travel - 54 million Chinese tourists are expected to go overseas this year, up from 47 million last year.

With over 800 million mobile phone subscribers and an extra 8.8 million every month, perhaps the most surprising thing about all of this growth is the motivation - by far the biggest reason for using a mobile to access the internet was to "kill time."

http://www.ericsson.com/innovationforum

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