Trends Report

Internet Uptake Underscores Metropolitan China's Generational Divide

Unlike Other Age Groups, Seniors Won't Be Online Any Time Soon

December 16th, 2008
Dia Ganguly
With contributors:
Reineke Reitsma , Serena Goldberg


China's younger generation has come of age under starkly different cultural and social forces than previous generations, and its members are the chief benefactors of China's economic growth and global integration. Western-style technology uptake and consumption define this new generation and its shift from the past. With more than 95% adoption, the Internet is a staple in the lives of metropolitan adults younger than 35. This contrasts strongly with the older generations of metropolitan adults, more than 70% of whom don't access the Internet at all. Technology companies need to address a wide range of barriers that keep Chinese Internet holdouts from going online: price, access, relevance, negative perceptions, and a lack of knowledge.

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