Chinese consumers are top globally for wanting to be “reachable” at all times

gfkOthers in Asia Pacific see less need than those around the world to be always reachable

Singapore, June 21, 2016 – Over half of the online connected population (56 percent) in China—the highest internationally—are in strong agreement1 with the statement “To me, it is important to always be reachable wherever I am,”. Only 3 percent—the second lowest of all markets surveyed—strongly1 disagree with the same statement. This makes China the top nation in Asia Pacific and globally with the pro- “always reachable” mindset.

Among the five key markets surveyed in APAC, South Korea came second – but trailing well behind China – with slightly less than a third (31 percent) of its consumers firmly agreeing with the same statement. In fact, of all the countries surveyed globally, South Korea has the lowest level of respondents—at just two percent– who firmly disagree with the statement “It is important to always be reachable.”

By contrast, less than a-fifth (18 percent) of Japanese connected consumers exhibit a strong “always reachable” mindset—the lowest in APAC and second lowest of all countries surveyed.

“On average, APAC consumers find it significantly less vital than international consumers to be constantly reachable,” noted Frans Janssen, Chief Commercial Officer for APAC. “However, the Chinese are the exceptions—being the only ones with a majority placing strong importance  on being always reachable—possibly a reflection of the Chinese culture which places high importance on being responsive at all times.”

Across all 22 countries surveyed, over two-fifths (42 percent) of the online connected population agree firmly1 with the statement “To me, it is important to always be reachable wherever I am” – and only 11 percent firmly disagree.  In comparison, only less than a third (32 percent) of APAC consumers shared the same sentiments, while 8 percent held the opposite view.

It is interesting to highlight that running against that international trend are Germany, Sweden, Canada and Netherlands. These countries are the only ones in the survey where greater numbers firmly disagree than agree with the idea that it is important to be always reachable.

Amongst the different age groups, people in their thirties show most leaning towards wanting to be always reachable – standing at nearly half (47 percent) firmly agreeing that it is important. Next come those in their twenties, at 45 percent, followed by teenagers (15-19 years old) at 43 percent. Those in their forties run a very close fourth at 42 percent. However, for people aged 50 and over, the perceived need to be always reachable drops off significantly – standing at a third (33 percent) of those in their fifties and just 29 percent of people aged 60 and over.

Looking at the difference between genders, women are slightly more likely than men to see being always reachable wherever they are as being important (43 percent women versus 40 percent men). When it comes to those who firmly disagree with it being important, the difference is even narrower, standing at 10 percent of women and 11 percent of men.

“It is important for businesses, in particular those in the telecommunications and wearables sector to understand the clear differences between countries in consumers’ desire – or not – to be always reachable; paying attention especially to the different trends across age groups and gender seen within countries,” added Janssen. “By adapting your marketing to match the specific mindset, brands and companies can win greater resonance with their target audiences,” he concluded.

To download the complete findings for each of the 22 countries, please visit


1 bottom two boxes and top two boxes from a seven point scale, where “1” means “do not agree at all”, and “7” means “agree completely”,


About the study

The survey question asked: “Here are some general statements about attitudes towards technology and information needs. Please specify a number from 1 to 7 for each statement, where “1” means you do not agree at all, and “7” means that you agree completely: ‘To me, it is important to always be reachable wherever I am’.”

GfK conducted the online survey with over 27,000 consumers aged 15 or older in 22 countries. Fieldwork was completed in June 2015 and data are weighted to reflect the demographic composition of the online population age 15+ in each market. The countries included are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, UK and USA.


About GfK

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