More than 90 per cent of Chinese teens access the internet through mobile phones, says report

September 12, 2018
Industry News
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Yingzhi Yang
ying.zhi@scmp.com

Although some teens use the internet for education, the most popular websites and apps are music streaming sites and QQ

The proportion of Chinese children under 10 years old who use the internet - which was only 56 per cent in 2010 - reached 68 per cent last year, according to the Bluebook of Teenagers published by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).

More than 90 per cent of Chinese minors, those aged up to 18, can now access the internet through mobile phone and over 64 per cent of primary school kids have their own smartphones, according to the report which was released on Monday.

Although “some” teens use the internet for education, the most popular websites and apps they use are music streaming sites and QQ, a messaging tool developed by Tencent Holdings in 1999. The report also found that almost one third of school children said they even use their mobile phones during classes and while doing homework.

For Chinese minors, Tencent’s super app WeChat is the main way they obtain news, the bluebook found. However, adults prefer broadcast channels as their primary source of news, according a separate report by the China Public Opinion Investigation Lab, a unit under CASS.

Nearly 85 per cent of Chinese minors use WeChat, compared to only 48 per cent five years ago, but Chinese juveniles are still more fond of QQ, while Chinese adults prefer WeChat as a social app, the bluebook report said.

The CASS teenager survey also found a correlation between family relationships and mobile phone usage. Of the children who said they have a bad relationship with their parents, 48 per cent used their phones to access the internet, whereas the figure for those who said they have a close relationship was 39 per cent.

A separate study of the online habits of US teenagers found that the time they spend on social media has increased significantly, but their favoured platforms are Snapchat and Instagram, both banned in China.

The percentage of American teens who engage with social media multiple times a day has gone from 34 per cent in 2012 to 70 per cent this year, according to a recent survey by non profit group Common Sense, based on a national sample of 1,141 teens aged from 13 to 17. Continue Reading 

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