China is way ahead of India when it comes to internet access and smartphone ownership, a latest Pew Research report has said. According to the survey, 71 per cent of Chinese say they use the internet at least occasionally or own a smartphone, our definition of internet users. In contrast, only 21 per cent of Indians say they use the internet or own a smartphone. Sixty-eight per cent respondents in China said they own a smartphone, as compared with 18 per cent in India as of spring 2016.
Smartphone ownership in China has jumped 31 percentage points since 2013, but in India it has increased by only six points during the same time period. While virtually every Chinese person surveyed owns at least a basic mobile phone (98 per cent), only 72 per cent of Indians can say the same, it said.
“Nearly four-in-ten Indians with a secondary education or more (38 percent) own a smartphone, compared with only nine percent of less educated Indians. The gap holds for Chinese and Indians above and below their respective countries’ median incomes,” it said.
The report also reflected a rural urban gap on smartphone ownership. “More urban Chinese (72 per cent) own a smartphone compared with rural Chinese (63 per cent), and the same goes for urban Indians (29 per cent) compared with rural Indians (13 per cent),” it said. “In India, there is a gender gap on smartphone ownership. Indian men (23 per cent) are more likely than women (14 per cent) to own a smartphone,” Pew said.