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Kiwis Keen Online Shoppers


Global Internet Trends report released by Nielsen//NetRatings

AUCKLAND – June 12, 2001 – Kiwis and Aussies are far more likely to purchase online than their Asian counterparts, according to the latest Global Internet Trends (GNETT) report released today by Nielsen//NetRatings. However, access to the Internet from a home PC and penetration of mobile telephones is significantly higher in the Asian markets of Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and Korea than in the Pacific nations of Australia and New Zealand.

The report, measuring 27 countries across the globe and drawn from more than 41,000 interviews conducted during Q1 2001, also shows a total of 429 million people now have access to the web around the world.

The report shows the US and Canada still account for the largest proportion of the world’s Internet access (total of 41 percent), however Asia Pacific is catching up fast with the region now accounting for one-fifth of global Internet access.

“One third of all households in Asia Pacific now have Internet access via a home PC, compared to just over a quarter of European households and nearly half of American homes,” said Brian Milnes, Managing Director Pacific, ACNielsen

“We don’t anticipate the US domination to last too much longer, though, as the other regions are expected to grow much more quickly. For instance, we expect another 12 percent of homes in Asia Pacific to acquire Internet access over the next 12 months, compared with a 9 percent increase in Europe and even lower growth in the US.”

South Korea dominates Asia Pacific in terms of the number of households with home web access, accounting for 45 percent of the number of households with home-PC access in the region.

Kiwis and Aussies top online shoppers
Adults in New Zealand and Australia are most likely to use the Internet to seek information about products and services, with one in four adults in those countries using the Internet as a source of information. Purchasing online is also most common in Australia and New Zealand, as well as South Korea, which has shown an increase in eCommerce activity since the fourth quarter of 2000. Only a very small proportion of people in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore have bought goods or services online (see Table 1).

“If a South Korean browses the Internet for information on goods or services, he or she is much more likely to buy than is the case in other countries,” Brian Milnes said. “Three in five South Koreans who browse convert that investigation into a purchase. By contrast, only one-third of adults from Hong Kong or Taiwan who browse for information then go on to buy.”

Table 1. Percent People (16+) Browsing for Products Online and Purchasing, past 6 months*
*Among population 16+ in households with fixed line telephone(s) and who have browsed the Internet for products and pricing

APAC % People Browsing for Products Online % People Purchasing Online
New Zealand 29 12
Australia 24 10
Singapore 19 7
South Korea 18 11
Hong Kong 13 4
Taiwan 13 4

UK and EUROPE % People Browsing for Products Online % People Purchasing Online
Sweden 46 26
Denmark 39 16
Switzerland 32 17
Finland 28 11
Netherlands 28 11
Austria 25 12
Norway 24 14
Germany 22 11
UK 19 11
Ireland 17 8
France 12 6
Belgium/Luxembourg 12 5
Italy 10 3
Spain 8 3
Source: Nielsen//NetRatings Global Internet Trends, Q1 2001

Home Access Dominant
In Asia Pacific, Internet access is more common from home than work (see Table 2). Even for those who do have Internet access at work, home is more likely to be the location of use of the Internet.

“Generally, home access and use of the Internet is more firmly entrenched in the four Asian countries of Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan than in the Pacific countries of Australia and New Zealand, where work based usage is more commonly observed,” said Brian Milnes.
Table 2. Percent of people 16+ in Asia Pacific with Internet access at home or work*
*Among population 16+ in households with fixed line telephone(s)

% With Internet Access at Home % With Internet
Access at Work
Australia 50 30
Hong Kong 58 23
New Zealand 51 31
Singapore 56 21
South Korea 57 17
Taiwan 50 19
Source: Nielsen//NetRatings Global Internet Trends, Q1 2001

Mobile phone penetration booms in Asia
In the Asia Pacific region, three in four households have a mobile phone, although penetration of mobile telephones among individuals is greater in Asia than in the Pacific. In Asia, around one quarter of homes with mobile telephones have at least three mobiles.

Hong Kong has the highest level of household and personal penetration of mobile telephones and has maintained that position over the past three quarters. New Zealand has shown a relatively strong increase (7 percent) in rate of use of a mobile telephone by people 16+ since the end of 2000.

In Asia Pacific, most homes have only one source of Internet access, though in Hong Kong and Taiwan more than one in five homes have two or more sources of Internet access. The majority of Internet access through a source other than a home PC is via a work PC, rather than through another source such as mobile telephone, a PDA or television.


About Nielsen//NetRatings
Through strategic partnerships between NetRatings, Nielsen Media Research and ACNielsen, the Nielsen//NetRatings audience measurement service collects real-time data from more than 225,000 individuals with access to the Internet around the world. The U.S. panel sample currently consists of 62,000 individuals with Internet access at home and 8,000 individuals with Internet access at work. International panels are under development with over 155,000 individuals with access at home currently being measured in 26 countries, representing over 90 percent of global Internet browser activity.

Nielsen//NetRatings uses unique technology capable of measuring both Internet use and advertising to provide the most timely, accurate and comprehensive Internet usage data and advertising information in the global marketplace. Nielsen//NetRatings tracks the entire spectrum of Internet user behaviour, leveraging proprietary data-collection technology from NetRatings, Nielsen Media Research's 50 years of expertise in research and audience measurement, and ACNielsen’s international leadership in offering market research information covering more than 100 countries. For more information, please visit

About ACNielsen
ACNielsen is a venture between ACNielsen and NetRatings Inc. ACNielsen, a company of VNU N.V., is the world's leading market research firm, offering measurement and analysis of marketplace dynamics, consumer attitudes and behaviour, and new and traditional media in more than 100 countries. NetRatings is the leading provider of Internet audience measurement technology and analysis. Through the Nielsen//NetRatings service, ACNielsen is creating the first global service for tracking audiences, advertising and user activity on the Internet in more than 30 countries worldwide.

About NetRatings, Inc.
NetRatings (Nasdaq: NTRT) provides Internet audience measurement and analysis services that enable its customers to make informed decisions regarding their Internet strategies. NetRatings delivers accurate and timely information collected from a representative sample of Internet users and augments it with detailed, flexible reporting and in-depth analyses.

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