中国电商巨头阿里巴巴集团创始人马云曾作出这样的著名论断——“在其他国家，电子商务只是一种购物方式。而在中国，电子商务已成为人们的一种生活方式。”2014 年见证了中国移动电子商务的迅猛发展，阿里巴巴购物平台（包括其淘宝与天猫平台）以及京东网上商城、1号店等产品销售平台已成为人们日常生活的必备工具。艾瑞咨询集团调查显示，中国移动电子商务 2013 年的业务量已超过 270 亿美元，增长幅度为 165.4%。数据表明，有将近 70% 的中国消费者选择移动购物，而美国仅为 46%。目前，阿里巴巴 25% 的网店交易是通过移动设备实现的。毫无意外，去年“双十一”期间，中国最大的在线购物狂欢节在 24 小时内以超过 90 亿美元的交易量，刷新了全球网购最高纪录。
在西方国家，智能手机通常只是个人电脑之外的补充工具，因此绝大部分网购活动是通过电脑完成的。然而在中国，智能手机正深刻影响着人们的日常生活。约有 75% 的中国网络用户使用手机上网，因此中国的移动商务发展速度已经超过电子商务，这一点也就不足为奇了。而且，新的变革已经出现并推动市场的繁荣发展。比如，微信的功能已远远超越了信息沟通。2014 年初，微信已进入移动商务领域，用户可通过绑定微信账户与银行卡来进行网上购物。
移动商务并不是受益于飞速发展的中国智能手机市场的唯一领域。在线视频网站之间的竞争也尤为激烈，他们都希望能够在繁荣发展的移动娱乐市场中抢占更多份额。最新调查显示，电视机已不再是人们视频娱乐的主要工具；中国约有 7 亿智能手机用户每天用于移动娱乐的时间约为 170 分钟，比他们看电视的时间多了将近一倍。数据显示，阿里巴巴和中国第一大智能手机品牌小米在优酷等视频分享平台的投资至少有1 亿美元，用以制作和发布在线视频内容。而且，阿里巴巴正进一步深入娱乐产业，2014 年 10 月，阿里巴巴造访好莱坞以寻求利润可观的媒体内容合作机会。腾讯、搜狐、百度等其他流媒体视频网站正争相采购高品质电影版权，以获得中国 4.5 亿在线视频用户的青睐，这类用户每月平均在线浏览时间已达 57 亿小时。
随着流媒体视频网站对内容品质的提升，中国用户可能将越来越地严重地依赖手中日趋增多的个人互联网终端。中国“低头族”的数量呈现井喷式增长，目前国内已有 300 家网络成瘾治疗中心，这些都不足为奇。据中国中央电视台 CCTV 报道，国内可能已有超过 2,400 万青少年患有网络成瘾症。随着国内社会环境的快速变化，中国需要在发展技术与经济的同时，积极应对由此带来的日趋严重的网络成瘾问题。中国互联网巨头正竞相提升客户体验，我们应对网络成瘾现象保持高度警惕，确保网络用户的身心健康。
China’s Growing Appetite for Mobile Entertainment
Jack Ma, founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba, famously said, “In other countries, e-commerce is a way to shop. In China it is a lifestyle.” In the Middle Kingdom, 2014 has been the year of m-commerce (the “m” is for mobile), with companies such as Alibaba (and its platforms Taobao and Tmall), as well as more product-specific platforms like JD.com and 1haodian.com becoming fixtures of everyday life. According to iResearch, China’s mobile commerce grew 165.4% in 2013 to reach over $27 billion. Almost 70% of Chinese consumers have reportedly purchased a product via their smartphones, compared to only 46% of Americans. With 25% of all Alibaba e-store transactions now being made using mobile devices, it comes as little surprise that on last year’s Single’s Day – November 11th, China’s biggest online shopping day – they smashed worldwide sales records after raking in over $9 billion in 24 hours.
In the West, smartphones are often a mere complement tool to people’s personal laptops and therefore most of the online shopping is done via computer. But in China, mobile phones dominate people’s daily lives. With 75% of China’s Internet users accessing the web via mobile, it’s unsurprising that the country’s m-commerce is currently growing faster than its e-commerce. New innovations have already emerged to promote the booming market. WeChat, for example, has gone beyond its messaging service and is diving into m-commerce by allowing its users to link their accounts to their bankcards in early 2014. Users can also use the app to pay for taxis, restaurants and even in retail stores.
But m-commerce is not the only sector that is benefiting from China’s growing obsession for smartphones. Online video sites are also vying for a bigger share of the booming mobile entertainment market. Recent findings show that TV is no longer the primary screen from which Chinese people consume entertainment; the country’s approximately 700 million smartphone users are spending an average of 170 minutes a day buried in their smart devices, nearly double their TV watching time. Alibaba and China’s No.1 smartphone brand, Xiaomi, each has reportedly invested at least $1 billion in Youku Tudou Inc., a video-sharing firm, to produce and distribute online video content. Alibaba continues to delve even further into the entertainment industry by visiting Hollywood in October 2014 in search of profitable media content. Other video streaming sites such as Tencent, Sohu, and Baidu are also snatching up the rights to host quality movies in order to woo China’s approximately 450 million online video viewers, who collectively spend 5.7 billion hours per month watching videos online.As these video-streaming sites improve their content, Chinese consumers will likely be even more hooked to their glowing screens. Not surprisingly, the number of smartphone addicts in China has skyrocketed and there are now an estimated 300 Internet addiction centers across the nation. According to a report by state broadcaster, CCTV, there may be more than 24 million young Chinese addicted to the Internet. With this rapidly changing societal landscape, a challenge exists for the country to balance this growing addiction with technological and economic development. As China’s Internet giants race to create an ever better consumer experience, a cautious eye should also be kept on the wellbeing of China’s “netizen” population.