You probably don’t need me to tell you that mobile usage in China is rather massive.

But just how big is the opportunity and how are Chinese marketers approaching the challenge?

A new report from Econsultancy and the Mobile Marketing Aassociation answers these questions and more.

The State of Mobile Marketing in Asia Pacific Report takes a close look at how APAC organisations and agencies are responding to the ever-expanding reach and importance of mobile. 

The findings, also available as a 60+ slide presentation, are presented for Asia Pacific overall, with key charts broken down for Asia, Australia, China, India and Singapore.

To give you a taster of what the report contains I’ve picked out some of the stats that relate specifically to the Chinese market.

They are detailed below along with data pulled from other sources which adds further insight into the Chinese mobile market.

Chinese investment in mobile marketing

  • Our research shows that, on average, mobile accounts for over a third (39%) of Chinese companies’ web traffic and over a quarter (27%) of ecommerce revenue is transacted directly on mobile devices.
  • Chinese companies spend nearly a third (28%) of their overall marketing budgets on mobile – the largest spend across Asia Pacific. 
  • Two in five (41%) companies surveyed spend over a quarter of their overall marketing budget on mobile.
  • Additionally, nearly two-thirds (63%) of Chinese companies plan to increase their mobile spend during the next 12 months (compared to 75% in India). More than three-quarters (77%) plan to increase their mobile budgets by up to 30%.
  • Seven in ten (72%) Chinese organisations claim that mobile will become a fundamental part of their marketing and commerce strategy during the next 12 months. This is slightly above the APAC average (67%).

Mobile will become a fundamental part of our marketing and commerce strategy during the next 12 months

Market size

  • By the end of August 2014 the total number of mobile subscribers in China reached 1.27bn.
  • 480m of these are 3G users and 30m are 4G users according to MIIT (Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology).
  • This means that by August the number of 4G users had more than doubled from 13.97m in June 2014.
  • Separate data from iResearch showed that almost three-quarters (73%) of mobiles sold in China are smartphones, up from just 23% in 2011, so the market size is likely to continue its strong growth.
  • By 2016 it’s forecast that mobile phone penetration will reach 86.9%.

Mobile commerce

  • In Q3 2014 Chinese people spent RMB230.96bn ($37.59bn) through mobile commerce, according to iResearch.
  • This represents an increase of 250.9% year-on-year.
  • Mobile now accounts for a third (33%) of all online sales, up from 14.3% in Q3 2013.

Local mobile advertising

  • Investment in local mobile advertising is expected to exceed RMB10.142bn ($1.65 billion) in 2014, a year-on-year increase of 93.6%, according to EnfoDesk.

Mobile gaming

  • Mobile gaming is hugely popular around the world, and China is obviously no exception. This presents a big opportunity for marketers to place in-app adverts and other forms of marketing.
  • As of June 2014 almost half of Chinese mobile users (47.8%) played games on their device.
  • Total transaction value of China mobile gaming market is expected to be over RMB20bn ($3.27bn) in 2014. 
  • Furthermore, it is estimated that the number of total value will exceed RMB40-50bn in 2015.