Report highlights China's world of difference

Press release
May 18, 2010 06:30 (GMT +00:00)

·         Ericsson ConsumerLab report reveals consumer trends driving world's largest market

·         Nearly 800 million mobile subscribers, 380 million internet users

·         Status, urbanization and globalization driving take-up of more advanced services

With the 2010 World Expo, Shanghai is shining a spotlight on China's past, present and future. A new Ericsson ConsumerLab report is turning that spotlight onto the consumer behavior powering the growth, potential and diversity of the world's biggest telecom market.

The report, released in conjunction with the Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) Business Innovation Forum in Shanghai from May 17-19, explores the behaviors, trends and circumstances of China's nearly 800 million mobile phone subscribers and 380 million internet users. They cover every possible socioeconomic niche and every level of technical prowess.

With mobile penetration of 56 percent and 8.8 million new subscriptions a month, China has one of the most dynamic markets in the world, as well as the fastest-growing major economy. GDP growth of 8 percent in 2009 and rising incomes are increasing spending power and material wealth. But the picture varies across this enormous country. The urban, rural and youth markets in particular show extreme diversity in user sophistication and demand for services.

Douglas Gilstrap, Senior Vice President and head of Strategy at Ericsson, stresses the importance of China on the telecom world: "With its enormous and increasingly prosperous population, China - together with neighboring India - is widely expected to provide a large share of future telecom growth. The study provides the latest, in-depth information that we and our business partners need to use to capture that growth. Understanding user behavior is crucial in driving successful innovation in both technology and business models."

Urban: There is a flood of people to China's cities, where users demand and get the latest in advanced mobile internet services. There is huge interest in the latest technology, and rapid income growth - 8.8 percent year-on-year in 2009 - as well as the hunt for status has made China the second-largest luxury consumer in the world. Mobile phones are everywhere, while fixed connections are less common, so people use their mobile handsets for data and voice rather than laptops and dongles.

City dwellers increasingly see internet access as an essential service. They rely on the internet for access to services and social contacts. Curiosity about the world beyond China's borders is also driving change: the number of Chinese tourists heading overseas is set to reach 54 million this year, up from 47 million last year.

Youth: More educated than their parents, the youth of China are one of the most sought-after target markets in the world. With service consumption rivaling or exceeding their peers in the UK, Sweden and the US, they are early adopters, digital natives, status conscious and - as a generation of single children - more affluent than previous generations.

Rural: Despite a rush to the cities and increasing numbers of migrant workers, a huge proportion of China's population lives in rural areas. Rural incomes are rising and there is soaring demand for technology products, but subscribers use their mobile phones almost exclusively for voice. Relevance of service, ease of use and pricing are the key factors for driving rural market uptake of mobile internet.

Ericsson ConsumerLab studies how consumers act and what they think about telecom products and services, helping operators understand their customers and develop revenue-generating strategies.

It is based on a global research program built on yearly interviews with 40,000 consumers in more than 30 countries, representing the opinions of more than 1.1 billion people. The global research program is built on both quantitative and qualitative consumer market research covering both general market and consumer trends as well as in-depth insights into specific areas.

The two-day global media event, Ericsson Business Innovation Forum, was opened by a guest speech by China's prominent economist Dr. Fan Gang who analyzed future scenarios of the Chinese economy.

Mr. Zhu Lijun of China Unicom and Mr. Bill Huang of China Mobile joined the event and delivered visions of exciting market update.  Other speakers included representatives from Chinese online companies, Lenovo, and executives from ST-Ericsson as well as Ericsson.

Notes to editors:

Further program details and presentation material are available at:

Our multimedia content is available at the broadcast room:

Ericsson is the world's leading provider of technology and services to telecom operators. Ericsson is the leader in 2G, 3G and 4G mobile technologies, and provides support for networks with over 2 billion subscribers and has the leading position in managed services. The company's portfolio comprises mobile and fixed network infrastructure, telecom services, software, broadband and multimedia solutions for operators, enterprises and the media industry. The Sony Ericsson and ST-Ericsson joint ventures provide consumers with feature-rich personal mobile devices.

Ericsson is advancing its vision of being the "prime driver in an all-communicating world" through innovation, technology, and sustainable business solutions. Working in 175 countries, more than 80,000 employees generated revenue of SEK 206.5 billion (USD 27.1 billion) in 2009. Founded in 1876 with the headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden, Ericsson is listed on OMX NASDAQ, Stockholm and NASDAQ New York.


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