Umeng: 58% of China's Active Smart Devices are Distributed in Third-tier Cities and Below

-- This study is based on 230,000 Android and iOS apps on UMENG analytics platform. All data was collected from January to April 2014.

Jun 10, 2014, 08:00 ET from Umeng

BEIJING, June 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- China has a population of more than 1.3 billion people. However the lifestyles, living standards, education level and consumer needs of the population varies greatly from region to region and from city to city. The mega cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen are a world apart from the rural towns of western China. Despite these big differences the smartphone has become ubiquitous throughout the country; Umeng now tracks 780 million active smart devices across China. Much is known about users in the tier 1 cities as well as the provincial capital 2nd tier cities. In this report Umeng brings into focus some of the characteristics of mobile users in the smaller tier 3 cities and towns.

First tier includes the 4 biggest and perhaps "most international" cities in China -- Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

Second tier includes 15 cities, namely, Tianjin, Chongqing, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Chengdu, Wuhan, Xi'an, Qingdao, Shenyang, Dalian, Xiamen, Wuxi, Jinan, Changsha and Fuzhou. They are all big cities with large populations and high GDP.

Key findings from the report:

  • The number of active smart devices in China exceeded 780 Million by Q1 2014. 58% of active devices are distributed in cities of the third tier and below, more than triple of that in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen together.
  • The rapid growth smartphone usage means that Tier 3 city users now use their phones just as much and just as often as users in first and second tier cities. With living standards continuing to improve and 4G rolling out across the country we can expect to see mobile use in tier 3 cities only grow further.
  • Users in cities of the first and second tiers expect mobile Internet to meet their living, working and educational needs in life (travel, navigation, business, finance, education, etc.), while users in cities of the third tier tend to use mobile apps to meet leisure and entertainment needs (videos, games, entertainment and photography), and better manage devices (wallpaper and system tools)
  • Users in 3rd tier cities are more likely to purchase a domestic device rather than from a big name manufacturer
  • Users in cities of the first and second tiers prefer simulation games, education games and adventure games; meanwhile, action games, card games, sports games and music games are the favorite of users in cities of the third tier and below.
  • China Mobile has the largest share of internet data traffic while China Unicom has seen the fastest growth in the past two years.

You can also download the report:

UMENG website:

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