It’s time for our monthly roundup of Asia Pacific (APAC) digital marketing stats.

The month of May brings us stats on WeChat, Indian railway station WiFi, social commerce, pre-roll ad growth, budgeting for customer experience, and FMCG brands.

Get stuck in or see our Internet Statistics Compedium for even more.

Alibaba’s UC browser has 400m MAUs

Alibaba Group’s UC Browser has surpassed 400m monthly active users globally, putting it in second place globally, behind Chrome and ahead of Safari.

Available on Android and iOS, UC is the number one mobile browser in China, India and Indonesia, available in 12 languages.

UC has 19.6% global market share, Chrome 34% and Safari 17.5%.


Social media a bigger influencer of purchasing than TV or store visits

3,500 15-to-50 year olds were surveyed and the results presented in a recent white paper, ‘Revolutionising Asia: Three key trends in social media’.

The chart below shows that only ‘friends and family’ and ‘search’ influenced recent purchases more than social media.

The paper identified three trends – alongside social media’s influence on commerce were the pressure to share (social content curation) and growing concerns about privacy.

social influence on purchasing

The survey also looked at social commerce, with Thailand topping the charts.

40% of Thai social media users have bought products or services through social media. Japan (10%) props up the table.

This data contrasts anecdotally with US and EMEA where social commerce has failed to take hold (Twitter recently stopped development of its Buy button, though Facebook is set to try shoppable video).

social purchases by country

300,000 using Google WiFi every week across 15 Indian railway stations

In April, Google announced WiFi networks at nine Indian railway stations, followed by a further six last month.

Numbers using the networks are currently 300,000. Find out more in the Google blog post.

Japanese consumers are put off by pre-roll

The Japanese are most likely to consider an adblocker – some 94% – according to Unruly’s Future Video Manifesto.

3,200 consumers globally were surveyed on their attitudes to online video advertising.

The APAC findings include:

  • 62% of Japanese consumers are put off a brand when they are forced to watch a pre-roll.
  • This figure was only 45% amongst South-East Asian audiences.
  • However, Japanese and South-East Asian consumers are less likely to mute video ads (76% and 75% respectively) than the global average (81%).
  • A third of Japanese consumers say they find ads that follow them around online ‘helpful’ – the global average is just 20%.
  • 62% of the global audience said that they like to be able to control video ads. This figure was 50% in Japan.

One-third of marketers from Australia & New Zealand describe their customer experiences as ‘very’ or ‘quite advanced’

More than half (53%) said that they were ‘not very advanced’ and the remainder said that they were ‘immature’ and ‘haven’t even started on this [CX improvement] journey’.

These findings come from an Econsultancy and Epsilon survey of 350 marketers in Australia and New Zealand about the maturity of their customer experience programmes.

cx in anz

The survey also revealed some interesting findings about the allocation of budget to customer experience improvement.

Nine out of 10 respondents said their company allocates responsibility for CX, but only around one in three said it had a dedicated budget.

Inter-department investment is evident for CX, with 41% saying they use budget that had been assigned to ‘other things’.

However, 24% of those surveyed have no CX budget at all.

cx budget

Nearly half of Asian 20-30 year olds shop online at least once a week

Nearly half (49.2%) of 20-30 year olds in Asia shop online at least once a week.

Nikkei surveyed 2,000 such consumers in March 2016 across 10 major cities in the APAC. The percentage of those who shop weekly was up 5.7 points from the previous survey at the end of 2014 (roughly year-on-year).

The most frequent online shoppers in the region are the Chinese, with 68.6% of them doing so at least once a week.

Respondents from Seoul were close behind (66.7%). Nikkei highlights one office worker who said they had started buying toilet paper and other daily necessities online from Coupang, a Korean retailing offering free same-day delivery above a certain order value. This level of service is becoming more evident worldwide.

The survey also looked at hours spent online in each nation. The Philippines and Thailand had an average in this age group of over eight hours. This was 5.6 hours in China and 4.2 hours in Japan.

frequency online shopping

Top APAC FMCG brands are local

When it comes to fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), China is the market most disposed to local brands, with the top ten most-chosen brands all local.

Kantar Worldpanel’s Brand Footprint looked at 44 countries measuring how many households are buying a brand and how often.

Yili tops the polls in China, bought by 88.5% of the population on average 7.8 times a year.

Click to enlarge in new window.

kantar survey

Hong Kong has the most connected population in the world

Hong Kong has the most connected population in the world according to GfK’s Connected Consumer Index.

The study looked at a range of connected devices across 78 countries and gave each nation an index score – a single measure covering how much and on what devices users communicate or access content.

Hong Kong received an index score of 1,486, ahead of North America (1,062) and the UAE (995).

In APAC, Singapore (801) and Australia (741) were second and third respectively (13th and 17th globally).

Japan fell the furthest, year-on-year, of all the APAC markets, dropping 10 positions to 30th. The nation has this year been overtaken by Taiwan.

The charts below show global rankings by nation and region.

Globally, GfK’s data over the past five years illustrates eloquently the rise of the smartphone.

Desktop pre-roll is the preferred video ad format in South-East Asia

TubeMogul’s Q1 2016 report states that desktop pre-roll has a 90% share of impressions in Thailand and Vietnam.

  • Quarter-on-quarter growth in pre-roll’s share of impressions has occurred in each South-East Asian market.
  • Mobile is a fast growing area in Japan, with inventory up 126% quarter-on-quarter (242% YoY).
  • Completion rates are higher on mobile than desktop and are also up year-on-year.

Aussie & New Zealand digital adspend is booming

Online adspend in Australia hit $1.7bn for the quarter ending March 2016. That’s a 33.5% increase year-on-year.

The latest IAB/PwC Online Advertising Expenditure Report shows Australia’s online growth in adspend at 25%. New Zealand recorded 31% growth.

anz ad spend