We live in a world where technology has helped us in our daily tasks, and it’s safe to say that everybody in the face of the earth can say that it is exciting. To be able to shop without getting out of the house, to be able to get connected with loved ones overseas, even to pay our bills. Basically, we can do anything at the touch of our finger, so to speak.
A digital wave is sweeping across Southeast Asia, and driven by a young and tech-savvy population, this Asian region is quickly becoming the world’s fastest growing internet market, with millions of new users coming online every month. According to a recent Digital 2019 report, Southeast Asia topped the charts in growth of unique internet, mobile and social media users over the course of 2018.
Mobile Data Usage
Last year, data use grew by 29% to reach nearly 19.5 billion gigabytes’ worth of data per month. This number is quite impressive as it’s far ahead of the second-most data-thirsty region of western, central and eastern Europe which are fewer than five billion gigabytes monthly. But, now, Southeast Asia is a growing market for mobile data, with overall internet penetration across the region standing at about 63% and mobile penetration steadily rising across the region.
Southeast Asia is home to several leaders in mobile connectivity as well, a category that accounts for several enabling factors, like infrastructure and affordability, as well as connectivity indicators and mobile network dimensions. Of all the Southeast Asia’s nations, the majority ones are Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, which ranks among the top 40 countries in the world for the overall mobile connectivity. In detail, these 6 countries are all above the worldwide average of 115% for mobile penetration.
Across the region, social media penetration reached 61% and mobile social media penetration reached 56% over the course of the past year. This means that Southeast Asia is the second-most active region in the Asia Pacific for social media use, only after Eastern Asia.
Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam saw the most year-on-year growth in mobile social media usage in the region. As in the global scale, the three countries are ranked third, fourth and fifth – respectively – for most rapid growth. In a single year, Indonesia welcomed 10 million new users, reflecting an 8% increase; Philippines also welcomed 10 million new users for a 16% increase; Vietnam saw 8 million new users for a 16% increase.
The majority of Southeast Asia’s nations rank in the top 10 countries worldwide in terms of mobile banking penetration. Thailand is the first among the world’s nations for access to mobile banking services, Malaysia ranked sixth and Singapore the seventh. Following the three, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam also placed above the worldwide average for use of mobile wallets.
As Southeast Asia’s young population grows up with mobile devices in hand and internet access at their fingertips, literacy rates are rising. Along with that, e-commerce is also growing with Indonesia topping the global charts with the highest percentage of internet users buying goods online. Only behind Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam are following closely on e-commerce growth of online shopping.