Join Our Newsletter





Events Calendar

« < August 2017 > »
S M T W T F S
30 31 1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31 1 2
Home arrow Market Research Findings arrow Information Technology arrow Global "Netizens" Underestimate Chinese Internet Sophistication and Use
Global "Netizens" Underestimate Chinese Internet Sophistication and Use PDF Print E-mail
Written by Harris Interactive   
12 Jul 2010
U.S. "Netizens" overestimate their own advancement

The Internet, and the technology products and services that depend on it, have transformed the way that many of us lead our lives, far more so in some countries than in others.

In the new paper titled "Digital Influence Index Study:

Understanding the role of the Internet in the lives of consumers," for instance, Brian McRoberts of Fleishman-Hillard, George Terhanian of Harris Interactive (hereinafter, McRoberts and Terhanian), and others, present evidence suggesting that China possesses possibly the world's largest and most advanced population of Internet users, with approximately 330 million people online, many of whom take advantage of a wide range of Internet-based products, capabilities and services.

Additionally, McRoberts and Terhanian maintain that the "mobility gap," that is, the difference between what capabilities are available on mobile phones and smart devices and the percentage of owners that actually use them, is smallest in China, with the Chinese using 90% of available capabilities, compared to the Americans, French and British who each use less than half (an average of 40%) of their capabilities.

Is this surprising? Apparently, it is.

New related research from the Harris Poll suggests that perceptions of the level of advancement of Chinese Internet users often differs dramatically from the reality that McRoberts and Terhanian describe, at least among Internet users from the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, France and Germany.

When the Harris Poll asked people from these countries which nation's Internet users (among the U.S., Canada, the U.K., France, Germany, China, and Japan) "are the most advanced at adopting all features and capabilities that the Internet has to offer," less than one in ten American, British, French and German adults named China (shown in Table 1). Canadians are more aware of Chinese usage, with 17% placing China in the top spot-higher than others, but relatively low on the whole.

These are some of the results of three Harris Poll surveys of Internet users.
The first poll was conducted online among 3,237 adults between the ages of 16 and 64 from Great Britain, France and Germany between March 17 and March 22, 2010; the second was also conducted online among 2,315 adults, 18 and older from the United States between March 19 and 23, 2010; and the third was conducted via telephone among 1,019 adults, aged 18 and older from Canada between March 25 and 28, 2010.

Additional analyses of the three Harris Poll surveys offer deeper insight into what people think about Internet usage in their own country versus others.

For instance, nearly two in three (65%) Americans report that the U.S. (rather than China) has the most advanced Internet users of all countries they were asked to consider. In comparison, Japan comes out on top among Britons and Canadians, at 36% and 32%, respectively.

The analyses also indicate, however, that there may be a correlation between age and perception. For instance, younger Britons demonstrate higher awareness than their older counterparts about Americans' level of advancement, with only 18% of those aged 16-24 (versus 30% of all Britons) identifying the U.S. as the most advanced country of those considered.

Younger Britons aged 16-24 also seem in better touch than older ones with regard to Chinese Internet usage, with 12% naming China as the most advanced country, compared to only 1% of those aged 55-64.

So what?

As McRoberts and Terhanian make plain, marketers from the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, France and Germany, among other countries, have a huge opportunity in China. Only 27% of the Chinese population is online, yet the percentage represents approximately 330 million people and they are possibly the world's broadest and heaviest users of Internet-based products, capabilities and services.

This presents savvy marketers with an enormous, and possibly-underappreciated, opportunity to exploit the Internet in creative ways to promote, sell and distribute their products and services.

Table 1
Perception of internet usage and advancemnent

"In your opinion, in which one of the following countries are Internet users most advanced at adopting all of the features and capabilities that the Internet has to offer?"

Base: All Online adults in the U.S, Canada, Great Britain, France and Germany

Image
Note: Percentages may not add up exactly to 100% due to rounding; * signifies less than 1%; NA signifies "not asked". Canadian respondents who selected "don't know/refused" (19%) were omitted; all other Canadian responses were in turn re-percentaged to sum to 100%.

Table 1A
Perception of internet usage and advancement - U.S. population by age

"In your opinion, in which one of the following countries are Internet users most advanced at adopting all of the features and capabilities that the Internet has to offer?"

Base: All Online U.S. adults

Image
Note: Percentages may not add up exactly to 100% due to rounding; * signifies less than 1%

Table 1B
Perception of internet usage and advancement - Canadian population by age

"In your opinion, in which one of the following countries are Internet users most advanced at adopting all of the features and capabilities that the Internet has to offer?"

Base: All Online Canadian adults

Image
Note:
Percentages may not add up exactly to 100% due to rounding; * signifies less than 1%

Canadian respondents who selected "don't know/refused" were omitted; all other Canadian responses were in turn re-percentaged to sum to 100% (rounding aside).

Table 1C
Perception on internet usage and advancement - British population by age

"In your opinion, in which one of the following countries are Internet users most advanced at adopting all of the features and capabilities that the Internet has to offer?"

Base: All Online British adults

Image
Note: Percentages may not add up exactly to 100% due to rounding; * signifies less than 1%

Table 1D
Perception on internet usage and advancement - French population by age

"In your opinion, in which one of the following countries are Internet users most advanced at adopting all of the features and capabilities that the Internet has to offer?"

Base: All Online French adults

Image
Note: Percentages may not add up exactly to 100% due to rounding; * signifies less than 1%

Table 1E
Perception of internet usage and advancement - German population by age

"In your opinion, in which one of the following countries are Internet users most advanced at adopting all of the features and capabilities that the Internet has to offer?"

Base:
All Online German adults

Image
Note:
Percentages may not add up exactly to 100% due to rounding; * signifies less than 1%

Methodology
All three polls were conducted in March 2010. The first surveyed 1,111 adults aged 16-64 in Great Britain, 1,079 adults aged 16-64 in France and 1,047 adults aged 16-64 in Germany online between March 17 and 22, 2010.

The second poll surveyed 2,315 adults online over the age of 18 within the United States between March 19 and 23, 2010. The third poll surveyed 1,019 adults over the age of 18 by telephone in Canada between March 25 and 28, 2010.

Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments.

Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates.

These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of Harris Interactive.

The Harris Poll ® #80, June 24, 2010

By Samantha Braverman, Project Researcher, The Harris Poll, Harris Interactive
 
About Harris Interactive

For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com .

New York, N.Y. - 24 June 2010

 
< Prev   Next >

Polls

How important is market research to start-ups in the current economic climate?
 

RSS Feeds

Subscribe Now