Chinese adults are now spending more time on mobile than TV

Chinese adults are going to spend more time on mobile compared to TV for the first time in 2018, according to new estimates from research firm eMarketer.

On average, Chinese adults are spending 2.39 hours per day using their mobile devices – representing an increase of 11.1% compared to 2017.

Mobile thus accounts for 41.6% of their media time in 2018.

Meanwhile, they spend 2.32 hours daily watching TV, which is a decrease of 2% compared to 2017 and represents 39.8% of their daily media consumption time.

The increase in mobile time is driven by digital video. The average Chinese adult will spend 58 minutes daily watching videos digitally this year. That’s 26% more than the pervious year.

By 2020, eMarketer estimates that they will spend almost one third of daily digital time viewing videos.

“eMarketer’s forecasts are showing that in China, time spent watching TV will experience accelerated declines, with TV viewership falling further in lower-tier cities,” explained Shelleen Shum, forecasting director at eMarketer. “Audiences increasingly consume digital video within platforms that provide a greater variety of content and allow for on-demand viewing. Faster networks and the proliferation of smartphones allow consumers to watch or post videos in between other daily activities.

Video in the country has experienced a significant boost thanks to platforms such as Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent. All three have made significant investments into short video content. Shum added:

“Beyond long-form content such as dramas, short videos – both professionally and user-generated – have witnessed explosive growth in the past year. Short video apps like Xigua and Kuaishou have received heavy investment in the past year to help commercialise its content. Ecommerce and news aggregator apps have also used short video content as a way to increase engagement among users.”