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China Economics Trend Watching

Internet in China: Rural Internet usage reaches 18.5%

Although there are over 700 million Chinese people classified as living in rural areas, only about 125 million of them use the Internet. That’s a penetration rate of 18.5%*, far below the urban Chinese rate of 50% […]

Although there are over 700 million Chinese people classified as living in rural areas, only about 125 million of them use the Internet. That’s a penetration rate of 18.5%*, far below the urban Chinese rate of 50%. These users are usually the last ones on the minds of International companies that are setting up shop in China’s first and second tier cities. However, when it comes to Internet marketing, rural Chinese Internet users are a rising force.

There are several things that have held back online shopping in rural China. First, credit cards are still not as popular in those areas. Second, rural Chinese people don’t yet have much trust in online shopping in general. Finally, delivery to rural areas is a still a problem. These barriers are quickly eroding though, and that’s obvious in the figures above, which show about a 30% increase in online shopping, online banking and online payments in rural China as well as a 27% increase in search engine usage

via Rural Internet Usage in China – Infographic and Interview | East-West-Connect.com.

By Itamar Medeiros

Originally from Brazil, Itamar Medeiros currently lives in Germany, where he works as Director of Design Strategy at SAP and lecturer of Project Management for UX at the M.Sc. Usability Engineering at the Rhein-Waal University of Applied Sciences .

Working in the Information Technology industry since 1998, Itamar has helped truly global companies in multiple continents create great user experience through advocating Design and Innovation principles. During his 7 years in China, he promoted the User Experience Design discipline as User Experience Manager at Autodesk and Local Coordinator of the Interaction Design Association (IxDA) in Shanghai.

Itamar holds a MA in Design Practice from Northumbria University (Newcastle, UK), for which he received a Distinction Award for his thesis Creating Innovative Design Software Solutions within Collaborative/Distributed Design Environments.

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