More Mobile Web Users in China than People in U.S.A.

Every once and awhile, a statistic crosses the headlines that takes a few seconds to sink in.

Soon, There’ll Be More Mobile Web Users In China Than People In The United States


Not an easy thing to conceptualize indeed, but according to eMarketer there will be more mobile Internet users in China than the entire population of the US by the end of this year.

There are, approximately, 309 million people in the United States (c’mon TechCrunch, the US Census Bureau is a more direct source than Wikipedia!).  We’ll see in a few months what the official Census 2010 now underway tells us, but that’s the current guesstimate.

And there’s more mobile web users in China than there are anybody in the U.S.A.  eMarketer continues:

Granted, these mobile Internet users do not currently monetize as well as smaller mobile audiences in, say, the US, so aggregate mobile advertising spending levels in China are still low relative to the size of the mobile Internet user base. Nevertheless, the growth trend is significant, and China’s mobile subscribers and Internet users will generate by far the highest advertising spending among the BRIC [Brazil, Russia, India, China] nations ($223.2 million in 2010, more than tripling to $699.9 million in 2012).

It’s easy to get caught up in the lure of big numbers and overlook the reality on the ground. The fact is that even as a rising number of consumers are purchasing smartphones, many mobile users across the BRIC footprint will remain on less sophisticated devices and legacy second-generation mobile networks well into the middle of the decade.

Last March I wrote about a cover-story by The Economist on How China Sees the West.  I’m still no closer to understanding the ‘wow’ factor of that nation having over 60 cities with over 1,000,000 population (probably even more now 12 months later).  The scale of that nation—politically, economically, socially—just blows my mind.

It’s a good reminder that it’s a big wide world out there.  It’s a good reminder that Geography Matters.


p.s. Those of us in the U.S., be sure to send in your Census form today.


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