Mobile Internet usage in China has surpassed that of the U.S., according to numbers released today by Nielsen. The Chinese have embraced mobile phones in huge numbers (755 million), and this fuels heavy mobile web usage. The lack of a landline network makes the phone the only option for web connectivity for many in China, so when they think of the web they instinctively think of the phone.
Companies should pay attention to this strong mobile web adoption in China, as the same factors fueling it are found in many developing countries. Smartphones are widely available in most countries today and, as in China, will be the only vehicle to travel the web in many of them.
China’s 3G network has been rolling out rapidly to handle the sheer volume of phones in use, and other countries should be watching to benefit from any lessons learned by the Chinese. Network rollouts are not cheap, and any obstacles avoided are like money in the bank for companies outside China.
While developing countries gravitate to the mobile web due to the lack of alternatives, it is wise to keep an eye on this process. Necessity is indeed the mother of invention, and as the world adopts the mobile web in increasing numbers, the infrastructure needed to handle it must grow tremendously.