Does Social Media Influence Buying Decisions in China?

on December 4 2014 | in Digital | by | with No Comments

Tencent QQ, iPad, Chinese social media, Weibo, WeChat

Chinese are avid internet users.

A recent study conducted by management consultancy AT Kearney showed how Chinese are spending their time online. Compared to the U.S., Chinese spend most of their online time on social networks and online entertainment, reported by 47 percent and 35 percent of the respondents, respectively.  Shopping and transactional services were mentioned by 12 percent and 6 percent of the respondents, respectively.

chinese internet users
The study found that having a social network account does not necessarily guarantee engagement. In the U.S., engagement is low across the different social networks with the exception of Facebook.

chinese social newtorks
In contrast, Chinese consumers have higher engagement across the many homegrown social media sites. Qzone, Weibo, and Tencent QQ dominate with the most users and have some of the highest engagement. Qzone, in particular, has the most active users at 80 percent and 68 percent of them indicated they log in daily.

chinese social networks

Does social media influence consumption?

The study found that social media’s influence on purchase decisions correlates closely to age. “More than two-thirds of respondents 35 and younger say they either frequently or occasionally base their buying decisions on what’s happening in their social networks; in contrast, more than 80 percent of respondents older than 65 say that they rarely or never base their buying decisions on what’s happening in their social networks.”

chinese social networks
In China, social networks are influential in buying decisions. Almost 95 percent of Chinese consumers survey say they occasionally or frequently use social networks to evaluate products, services, or brands.

image credit: flickr/simon q

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