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Asian Trends: Online communication overview

A NetValue released report of February Internet overview indicates strong growth of the communication sector despite a slight downward trend in all Asian markets.

Singapore – Global Internet measurement company NetValue recently released a report on Internet usage in Asia for the month of February 2001.

The report revealed that the figures for households connected to the Internet in Asia are varied, ranging from 19.1% in China (Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Shenzhen) to close to half, 49.8%, in Singapore.

Every market in Asia has shown increasing or stable Internet penetration rates except for Taiwan, which saw a slight drop recently. (See figure 1)

Fig 1. % household connected to the Internet
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Despite a slight downward trend in all Asian markets except China since December (see figure 3), the communication sector (which includes chat, Internet Chat Relay, private and open forums, free community hosting, instant messaging, email and e-cards) continues to prove strong.

In China and Korea, it holds the second highest audience market share (time spent by all Internet users in a specific sector relative to total web connection time) of all online sectors. In Korea, the sector’s strength is incredible: in February audience market share was 22.8%, almost twice as much as the market share held in China (11.8%), and much stronger than in Hong Kong (8.1%), Singapore (8.2%) or Taiwan (9.4%). (See figure 2)

Fig. 2 Audience market share per sector
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Fig. 3 Audience market share distribution of communication sector
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Taking a closer look at the communication sector, we see that the Korean market, with its huge numbers of unique visitors, has dominance over most of Asia’s top communication sector sites. Of the top 20 spots, over half the sites appear purely in Korea.

Furthermore, of the top ten communication sector sites, eight of them register reach only in Korea. The only top 20 communication sites not to be influenced by the Korean market are 8d8d.com, tacocity.com.tw and uhome.net. Which sites show cross-market success? tripod.com, fortunecity.com, web1000.com and theglobe.com have presence in four of the Asian markets. (See figure 4)

Fig. 4 Top 20 sites
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