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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : August 16, 2013

Cross-cultural study reveals huge differences in smartphone use between U.S and China

A cross-cultural report, developed jointly by the U.S.'s Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and the Interactive Internet Advertising Committee of China (IIACC) reveals the divergence of mobile behavior between the two countries.

by Helen Leggatt

Despite smartphone penetration in China being markedly behind the U.S., a joint study by the trade associations for digital media companies in their respective countries found that Chinese consumers are significantly more likely to use smartphones as their sole or primary media device.

While U.S. consumers reported using their smartphones as a secondary device, while consuming media from other sources, Chinese smartphone users reported engaging less with other media. Over a quarter of Chinese (28%) said they watch less television and 27% read less print media.

Overall, when compared to their U.S. counterparts, Chinese smartphone users were 86% more likely to report less television viewing and 42% more likely to engage with print media.

At the same time, Chinese smartphone users are less attached to their devices. While 69% of U.S. consumers said they would not leave home without theirs, few Chinese felt the same way (6%). Furthermore, while 35% of U.S. smartphone users say that their device is the first thing they reach for in the morning, just 7% of Chinese did so.

"Culturally and economically the United States and China are very different, so it is not surprising that smartphone usage would be different as well, especially considering that Chinese consumers are at an earlier point in the adoption cycle," said Sherrill Mane, Senior Vice President, Research, Analytics and Measurement, IAB.

"Multinational brands must understand that effectiveness of mobile advertising in China is dependent upon an intricate understanding of the local patterns of adoption and develop response strategies suited to the market and consumer behaviors," added Mane.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: China, culture, mobile advertising, mobile trends, smartphone, U.S.

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