Customers read e-books at a cafe in Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu province. [Photo: China Daily]
A growing number of Chinese internet users are willing to pay for digital content, with a rising need for high-quality products, video content and better user experiences brought about by new technologies, a report said on Tuesday.
The new 2019 content trend report released by Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd showed that 53.3 percent of surveyed netizens are dissatisfied with online content, and they require higher-quality online information.
Among the surveyed internet users, high-end consumers have a stronger demand for better quality and customized content. Mass content consumers desire more knowledge of content.
Specifically, 34.8 percent of the surveyed group said they want useful and interesting content, especially on topics related to lifestyle, health, and culture.
The report said 26.8 percent of those living in first-tier and second-tier cities said they probably or are very likely to pay for high-quality content. For those living in fourth-tier and fifth-tier cities and those who have middle school degrees or less, they care more about content quality, learning knowledge and whether the content they get is real.
"As users have increasingly higher demands for high-quality content, reducing low-quality content will be the main task for content producers," Tencent vice-president Chen Juhong said during the 2019 Tencent ConTech technology conference held on Tuesday in Beijing.
"Against this backdrop, we will see major growth and development in content production and consumption technologies. It will be a natural next step to introduce a variety of technical means to offer better consumer experiences and enhance content production efficiency," Chen said.
In first-tier and second-tier cities, 56.1 percent of netizens aged between 21 and 40 said they spend more time on smartphones, and 45.8 percent of them said video content is their top choice or the only choice when viewing online information, the report said.
A growing number of emerging groups are actively embracing the digital world, including elderly adults and those who did not complete middle school.
Of the 249 million elderly people aged above 60, some 59 million are internet users, with a 39.9 percent year-on-year increase seen compared to the previous year. The number of netizens who have middle school degrees or less has reached 479 million, up by 26.7 percent year-on-year.
"Today, residents of lower-tier cities and towns have become the new growth engine to boost the consumption market. And we do see huge potential in that," said Zheng Qingsheng, a partner at Sequoia Capital China.
"Unlike those born in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s who lived through a long period of material deprivation, those born in the 1990s and 2000s have a more open-minded attitude toward consumption and will pay for various products and services. With their growing spending power, they will become the new driving force for consumption," Zheng added.
According to the report, Chinese internet users now love embracing new technologies such as next-generation 5G technology. This will generate new growth engines in the content consumer market in the coming year.
Wu Hequan, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said the 5G network will enable the combination of terminals with artificial intelligence technologies, which will help foster new applications and businesses for digital content such as intelligent and high-definition news content.