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China Leads APAC In Online Tech Purchasing

Online Chinese consumers are the definitive regional leaders in anticipated online tech purchases and early tech adoption – far outpacing consumers in other developing Asia-Pacific (APAC) countries – according to new research from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).

“Given the country’s robust online marketplace and enthusiasm for technology, it’s no surprise China is far-and-away the APAC region leader when it comes to early tech adoption and online tech purchases,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, Consumer Technology Association.

Online and In-Store Purchases

When considering their next tech purchase, Chinese consumers are much more likely to shop online (62 percent) rather than purchase in-store (38 percent). This is in contrast to Indonesia (38 percent planned online purchases), Malaysia (33 percent), Vietnam (29 percent) and Philippines (24 percent), where online shopping for tech is not as strong.

In-store purchases are the most popular form of shopping for the other APAC countries, led by the Philippines where 74 percent plan to go in-store for their next tech purchase. That country is closely followed by Vietnam (71 percent), Malaysia (66 percent) and Indonesia (60 percent). According to the study, in-store purchases are driven by a desire to try out products, and online purchases are primarily driven by both price and convenience.

APAC Tech Adoption Trends

Among online consumers in the APAC region, China has the highest percentage of self-reported early tech adopters, with 59 percent indicating they buy tech as soon, or shortly after, it is available. Behind China are Malaysia and Indonesia (49 percent), Vietnam (40 percent) and the Philippines (32 percent).

Among online consumers in China, smartphones are the most-owned tech, followed by desktop computers, laptop computers, digital cameras and headphones. Smartphones are also the most popular tech device in Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia. In the Philippines, on- or over-the-ear headphones ranked as the most-owned tech device.

“Chinese technology companies and consumers play a key role in the global economy,” said Steve Koenig, senior director of market research, CTA. “Consumers across the developing APAC region are diverse in their tech consumption habits, but a clear appetite for mobility is a unifying trend.”

APAC Tech Consumer Demographics

For consumers across the APAC region, battery life and features are the most important purchase drivers – a nod to mobile devices. In contrast, brand is the most important factor for tech purchases among APAC online consumers who are 25-44, living in urban areas, and buy and own large amounts of tech. The primary reason for purchasing tech differs by country:

  • China: most likely to be motivated by entertainment and enjoyment (36 percent).
  • Vietnam: focused more on work, ranking features that assist in work life as most. important and features that address productivity as second.
  • Malaysia: reports making life easier (roughly one in four) as most important.
  • Philippines: values staying in touch with family and friends (nearly one in four).
  • Indonesia: top reasons are across the board including productivity, work life and connectivity with friends and family.
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