Asian Seniors Logging On

Dispelling the myths around older web users in Asia, here’s an article from the Asia Media Forum that includes some interesting facts and stats e.g:

  • Internet penetration in Asia stands at 18.5 percent, compared to the world average of 24.7 percent
  • As of June 2009, Internet World Stats reported 704.2 million Internet users in Asia, or 42.2 percent of the world’s users.
  • In March 2009, Baidu, the leading search engine in China, launched a search engine for elderly users that has more mature content such as classical poetry, larger fonts and less cluttered pages for easier navigation. Local industry reports say Baidu hopes to see the number of older users in China continue to rise. Only five million people over the age of 50 had used search engines by the end of 2008, out of a total of some 300 million Internet users in China at the time, according to the China Internet Network Information Centre (CNNIC).
  • But while the numbers of Asian users are large – China alone has 338 million users, Japan has 94 million and India 81 million — the percentage of the population using the Internet is often much lower. This stands at 25 percent in China, 7 percent in India and is much higher at 74 percent in Japan.
  • In the Philippines, there’s ‘Teach Lola’ website (www.teachlola.com), dedicated to teaching grandparents about the nitty-gritty of computer and Internet use. Unfortunately, it’s far from age-friendly in it’s design and construction.
  • According to BayanTel, the Philippine telecommunications company behind the ‘Teach Lola’ website, only “11 percent of the elderly know how to use the Internet”. But BayanTel officials admit that since there has not been any comprehensive study on the “Internet habits of the elderly”, it is difficult to say how many of the elderly are really wired.

With the help of ComScore, we’ll soon be offering more insights to the 50+ online activity in Asia Pacific.

Watch this space.

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