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Emerging economies find own way of using web

01 сентября 2010

Consumers in the world’s largest emerging markets are developing widely diverging habits and preferences in their use of the internet, posing challenges to multinationals’ marketing strategies, a report has found.

China’s internet population uses the web mainly for instant messaging and online music, videos and games. But internet users in Brazil and Russia focus on search and e-mail, much like their peers in mature markets, according to a study by the Boston Consulting Group.

The report, to be published on Wednesday, offers the first comprehensive comparison of internet usage patterns in China, India, Russia, Brazil and Indonesia, that account for one-third of the world’s internet population.

The internet usage habits of China’s more than 400m internet users, by far the world’s largest online population, differ notably from those of their peers in developed countries such as the US and those in Europe.

Surveys conducted by McKinsey in China and the EU as well as data collected by pollsters in China and the US showed that Chinese internet use was mainly driven by entertainment features, while work plays a larger role in the web usage patterns in mature markets.

“Habits vary widely between users in China, India, Russia, Brazil and Indonesia,” said David Michael, managing director at BCG in Beijing and one of the report’s authors.

“One mistake is to assume that [users in these markets] are not online, that they’re behind, and another is to assume that if they’re online, you can just transfer your existing online marketing strategy to those countries.”

While cultural factors play a role in countries’ differing usage patterns, the cost and availability of broadband connections and third-generation mobile services are also important.

“About half of all internet connections in India are dial-up – slow and expensive,” said Mr Michael. “Therefore if you go online there, you log on, check mail, and log off again, whereas in China you might be online all day.”

The diverse content on offer in India’s traditional media makes online entertainment less attractive than in China, where consumers can find content online which they would not find in the state-owned traditional media.


Источник: Financial Times

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