Today marks the beginning of the Chinese New Year. Kicking off the 2015 lunar calendar and the year of the goat (or sheep or ram), today celebrates the emergence of spring, the coming together of families, and the arrival of good fortune. Given China’s prosperous technology evolution, the superpower has a lot to look forward to. According to Forrester’s Consumer Technographics® data, the country is already home to the most mobile-savvy population on the planet, with nine out of every 10 metropolitan Chinese online adults using a smartphone; within the next two years, the nation will see an additional 200 million unique smartphone subscribers:
What will happen when the world’s largest mobile phone market becomes even bigger?
As researchers, we have an unprecedented view of large-scale patterns of behavior. For instance, Chinese search engine Baidu is leveraging mobile tracking software to visualize the largest human migration in history as people travel home for this holiday. From an economic (and sociological) perspective, Chinese consumers have new ways to preserve traditional interactions. For example, messaging service WeChat is facilitating consumer-to-consumer payments in honor of the current festivities. Retailers will see the Chinese eCommerce market hit $1 trillion within the next five years, while mCommerce will grow even faster, thanks to Chinese consumers’ advanced mobile shopping behaviors. Marketers will have to contend with new levels of expectation: Forrester’s mobile mind shift data indicates that Chinese consumers are demanding mobile services more urgently than any other population.
In their recent report, my colleagues Gina Fleming, Thomas Husson, and Josh Bernoff advise business leaders to “prioritize China while paying special attention to its unique qualities” that make for a fragmented mobile ecosystem and complex strategic environment. A keen understanding of technology usage trends as they continue to unfold will equip business leaders with crucial insight into China’s distinct consumer culture —and will prepare them for success in the coming year.