Changing Internet Usage in China and the US (10 Charts)

Internet usage is quickly changing globally. It is now more social, more mobile and more a part of our everyday lives. Chinese are becoming dominant players. (Connie Ma/Flickr)
Internet usage is quickly changing globally. It is now more social, more mobile and more a part of our everyday lives. Chinese are becoming dominant players. (Connie Ma/Flickr)

Internet usage is quickly changing globally. It is now more social, more mobile and more a part of our everyday lives. Chinese are becoming dominant players. This message was delivered by Mary Meeker, a venture capitalist at the firm of Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, at the D11 conference in May. The following 10 charts from her presentation reflect these changing trends.

Massive growth in photo and video sharing

Although sites like Flickr and YouTube have been around for many years now, only in the last few years have advances in technology allowed mobile devices to come into their own when it comes to easily sharing photos and videos.

As mobile technology has advanced, so have the number of photos shared over devise exploded. There are now nearly 550 million photos uploaded and shared every day, as opposed to under 20 million in 2008:

internet usage in china

Changing Internet Usage in China and the US: Massive growth in photo and video sharing. (Mary Meeker)

Videos shared on YouTube have shown similar exponential growth. There are now 100 hours per minute of videos posted on You Tube compared to under 10 hours in 2007:

internet usage in china

There are now 100 hours per minute of videos posted on You Tube compared to under 10 hours in 2007. (Mary Meeker)

Of all online services, only Facebook is experiencing a slowdown in growth as more competition appears:

internet usage in china

Facebook is experiencing a slowdown in growth as more competition appears. (Mary Meeker)

Tablet numbers outpace PCs

Before Apple introduced the iPad in 2010, almost no one owned a tablet computer. But in 2013, tablets are outselling PCs and quickly encroaching on laptop sales:

internet usage in china

Changing Internet Usage in China and the US: Tablet numbers outpace PCs. (Mary Meeker)

The smartphone war

Microsoft was the only US company with a smartphone operating system in 2005 and its share of the market was negligible. The Finnish company Nokia dominated the smartphone market. BlackBerry, manufactured by RIM (Research in Motion) was only beginning to become popular.

By 2012, Nokia and RIM were in deep trouble and were struggling for survival, while Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android systems had become the dominant players.

internet usage in china

Changing Internet Usage in China and the US: The smartphone war. (Mary Meeker)

Internet advertising underperforming other media

Advertisers are still willing to pay a lot more for ads in print media than on Internet sites. Internet revenue from ads remains a major problem.

From the chart below, one can clearly see how print and other media still maintain the lion’s share of advertising dollars as opposed to sites on the Internet:

internet usage in china

Changing Internet Usage in China and the US: Internet advertising underperforming other media. (Mary Meeker)

Online education in the US

Online education has been steadily growing in the US since 2002, both in numbers and as a percentage of total enrollment.

internet usage in china

Changing Internet Usage in China and the US: Online education in the US. (Mary Meeker)

China’s mobile Internet usage skyrocketing

Although the Internet was invented in the United States and the US still is home to many of the most popular Internet companies, China is challenging that leadership. China has now surpassed US mobile device numbers and is continuing to grow at a breakneck pace:

internet usage in china

Changing Internet Usage in China and the US: China’s mobile Internet usage skyrocketing. (Mary Meeker)

Mobile use in China is skyrocketing. While most Chinese accessed the Internet using desktop computers in 2007, only about 20 per cent used smartphones. However, this all changed by the end of 2012 when more Chinese accessed the Internet using mobile devices (75 per cent) rather than desktop computers (71 per cent):

internet usage in china

By the end of 2012 when more Chinese accessed the Internet using mobile devices (75 per cent) rather than desktop computers (71 per cent). (Mary Meeker)

While Americans spend 42 per cent of their media time watching television, compared to 29 per cent in China. Chinese spend 55 per cent of their media time online, compared with 38 per cent for Americans:

internet usage in china

Changing Internet Usage in China and the US: Chinese spend 55 per cent of their media time online, compared with 38 per cent for Americans. (Mary Meeker)

Like this article? Subscribe to our weekly email for more! 

The Stunning Speed of Internet Censorship in China
Cotton Candy Monster Bubbles Appear in Rice Paddy