Six of our favorite stats of the week from APAC

The Asia Pacific is home to more than four billion people. This week’s industry statistics reflect the huge growth in digital uptake in this region, and the big opportunities this presents for marketers.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned as the Asia editor at ClickZ it’s that the APAC region never does anything by halves. With three of the world’s biggest populations here in Asia – China, India, and Indonesia – the numbers around digital penetration are enormous. With that, comes enormous opportunity.

Here are six stats from the Asia Pacific region this week, and the implications for marketers.

1. 371 million: India’s mobile Internet population by June

Earlier this week, the Internet and Mobile Association of India and IMRB International released a report predicting India’s mobile Internet users will hit 371 million by June. Yes – 371 million!

This is a 21 percent increase on December 2015 figures, where 306 million people were mobile Internet users. The bulk of these mobile Internet users are in India’s urban regions (219 million), and they’ve experienced year-on-year growth of 71 percent. That’s a big figure in itself. However, the real growth in mobile Internet uptake is in rural India, which grew 93 percent year-on-year to reach 87 million in December 2015.

According to the report, the top reasons for accessing mobile Internet in urban areas are: online communication (80 percent) and social media websites (74 percent). A majority of users in rural India access mobile Internet for entertainment, followed by social networking and online communication.

As we wrote earlier this month, 2016 is going to be the Year of India. Stepping out of China’s shadow, it anticipates another year of GDP growth above seven percent. Ecommerce is where some of the biggest opportunities lie for marketers. Of course, any ecommerce strategy will need to be backed up by a strong mobile initiative.


2. 32 percent: Alibaba’s year-on-year revenue growth

Asian technology giant Alibaba released its fourth quarter earnings this past week. Despite an economic slowdown in China, Alibaba’s revenue rose 32 percent year-on-year to $5.3 billion – which means Chinese consumers are still doing a lot of  shopping!

Here’s a snappy infographic that breaks down the earnings report:

Stats of the Week_Alibaba Q4 earnings_400

It’s worth noting in this infographic, the importance of mobile users for the Alibaba Group’s businesses; these Chinese consumers are experiencing their online and offline purchase journey  from their smartphones. But we will get to that in a bit.

3. 179 percent: y-o-y percentage growth of Alibaba’s Tmall Global turnover

Some of Alibaba’s biggest numbers came alongside the release of a Tmall Global / CBN Data 2015 China Cross-Border Consumption Report.

Tmall Global is Alibaba’s cross-border ecommerce platform. (You can read more about China’s booming cross-border trade channels here, and for online cross-border marketing tips, read the story here).

Tmall Global’s year-over-year turnover grew a staggering 179 percent.

Other figures for Tmall Global in 2015:

  • More than 5,400 foreign brands had a presence on Tmall Global.
  • It’s made up of 2,000 categories of goods from 53 countries and regions.
  • 80 percent of these brands were first timers to the Chinese market.
  • Beyond tier-one cities like Beijing and Shanghai – which tend to consume more imported goods than other parts of China – Ningxia, Shanxi, Henan, Sichuan, and Gansu were among the fastest growing provinces for consuming imported goods.

4. U.S. $6.5 trillion: the value of China’s consumer economy in 2020

A Boston Consulting Group report found that even if China’s GDP growth slows to five and one-half percent, its consumer economy will continue to grow 55 percent; from $4.2 trillion in 2015 to $6.5 trillion by 2020.


In the The New China Playbook, which was developed with Alibaba’s AliResearch,  BCG researchers wrote:

“Despite a slowing economy, China will remain one of the world’s fastest-growing consumer markets for the foreseeable future.”

Chinese consumer growth will be driven by three “megatrends,” according the report:

1. Consumers in upper middle class and affluent households.

2. Chinese consumers under the age of 35, who are mostly college educated and brand conscious, will lay out more cash on goods and services than their parents.

3. A shift from brick-and-mortar retail to ecommerce will continue to play a large role in China’s economy.

As a point of comparison, consumer spending in the U.S. will grow by 21 percent for the same period.

5. 700 million: the number of people going online at least once a month this year in China.

Emarketer estimates that widespread Internet adoption in China will  continue, growing about four percent this year and reaching approximately 700 million users (Wow!). That means 2016 will be the turning point where more than half of China’s population will go online at least monthly.

In China, online mobile phone users are expected to grow by five percent in 2016, reaching 618.7 million, according to eMarketer. If you are doing the math, that means 88 percent of all Internet users in China this year will go online via a mobile phone.

Many parts of Asia, especially in emerging markets like India and Southeast Asia, are mobile-first and, more commonly, mobile-only. These figures from India and China reiterates to digital marketers operating in this region that a mobile-first or mobile-only strategy is essential.

EMarketer_smartphone adoption_China 2015_204070

6. 18 percent: the growth of Google’s fourth quarter earnings (okay this is not solely Asia, but its included too!)

Google’s parent company Alphabet released its fourth quarter earnings, which came out earlier in the week.

This is the first time Alphabet has released a breakdown of its earnings since the reorganization of Google last year. But the new segmentation gives good insight into the search and advertising businesses under the new Google Inc. subsidiary.

Overall, Alphabet’s total revenue during the three months of Q4 grew 18 percent, which is $21.3 billion. The Google segment, which covers its online advertising technologies, search, cloud computing, and other software saw 18 percent year-on-year growth.

Here’s a breakdown:

Stats of the Week_Google Alphabet_4Q earnings_600

In a press release, Ruth Porat, chief financial officer at Alphabet, said the strong revenue growth in the fourth quarter was driven by mobile search, YouTube, and programmatic.

Substantial growth in mobile was due to improvements in ad formats and delivery.

Predictions from eMarketer suggest that Google’s worldwide mobile Internet ad revenue will be worth $34.11 billion this year – a 40 percent jump on 2015.

It also predicts that Google will continue to dominate worldwide search ad spending, holding $45.58 billion in search ad revenue this year – or 55.6 percent of the global search ad market.

There you have it -that’s a wrap for this week!

Related reading

Cyber Monday background in style of old 8-bit video games.
Black Friday Sale Poster with Dark Balloons Bunch