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Brief Published: 7 Apr 2015

Tech Use in Emerging Markets

Mobile user in Bangkok

New research from US institute Pew provides a tantalising glimpse into how technology is radically reshaping the lives of consumers in emerging markets.

The research, released in March 2015, is based on a 2014 survey of more than 36,000 consumers in 32 countries. Key highlights include:

  • Mobile First: Mobile has leapfrogged landline in Nigeria, Ghana, Bangladesh and Uganda. Less than 1% of consumers in these countries own a landline, while 89% of consumers in Nigeria own a mobile phone, 83% in Ghana, 76% in Bangladesh and 65% in Uganda. In comparison, 60% of US consumers have access to a landline.

  • Social Surfers: Internet users in Southeast Asia are hooked on social networks. The Philippines is now the third largest smartphone market in Southeast Asia, and 93% of adult internet users in the country say they use social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. Read SE Asia Youth Hangouts for more on this topic.

  • Online Ordering: More than half of consumers in China have used the internet to buy products in the past 12 months. Singles Day – the Chinese equivalent of America's Black Friday, held annually on November 11 – generated record sales of $9.3bn for Chinese e-commerce site Alibaba last year. Read SXSWi 2015: Dissolving Demographics to find out about China's 'wired women', a demographic that spends $3tn every year online.
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