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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : July 11, 2007

Location-Based services to lead China's mobile market

Forget about text messaging or the mobile Internet. According to recent research from In-Stat, location-based services (LBS) are expected to lead mobile services for Chinese consumers.

by Kristina Knight

To date mobile marketing has been constrained in the country. Phone prices, difficult interfaces and availability have kept the mobile market in check, but researchers believe that will change as more low-priced GPS phones become available.

“We believe that with falling GPS phone prices and more attractive and easy-to-use applications (i.e. LBS client) in place, mobile LBS will be accepted on a large scale,” says Frances Guan, In-Stat analyst. “In the future, we believe that services that combine LBS and other mobile value-added services will be very competitive.”

In-Stat researchers polled mobile users in China between the ages of 18 and 39. They found that in the 18-29 age group and the 35-39 age group, users were very interested in mobile offerings. Interestingly enough, these users are from middle income brackets. Usually the higher income brackets are more interested in new technologies.

Though the market is nowhere near saturated, some Chinese users are already subscribed to the LBS services. These users have above average incomes and are primarily business consumers. Those currently using the platforms are most interested in gaining local information - business location or phone numbers - and directions.

Tags: mobile marketing

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