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Smartphone Usage Is Expected to Eclipse TV Time in China

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Apr. 26 2018, Updated 4:05 p.m. ET

Smartphone usage versus time spent watching TV

This year, time spent on smartphones is expected to beat time spent watching TV in China, the biggest smartphone market in the world, according to a recent report by eMarketer. This development is mainly due to the tremendous growth in digital video platforms in the country.

The average Chinese adult is expected to spend two hours and 39 minutes per day on a mobile device in 2018, an 11.1% hike from the previous year, according to the report. On the other hand, time spent watching TV is projected to fall 2.0%, to two hours and 32 minutes per day.

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Digital video platforms are driving smartphone usage in China

The research company said that digital video platforms are the key driver of the increase in time spent on smartphones. eMarketer projects that time spent by the average Chinese adult on video platforms will grow 26% in 2018 to reach 58 minutes per day.

The streaming services offered by Baidu’s iQiyi (IQ), Alibaba (BABA) streaming units Tudou and Youku, and Tencent’s (TCEHY) Tencent Video have had the lion’s share of the country’s video streaming market. China’s increasing mobile time has also been driven by popular chat apps such as Tencent’s WeChat and online and offline payment apps such as AliPay, TenPay, and WeChat. China is well ahead of the United States in terms of online payments.

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