Digital (lack of) spending


The city’s median spending on online shopping amounted to some MOP1,000 (US$125) for the fourth quarter of 2016, unchanged from one year ago, despite a double-digit increase in the number of Internet users that shopped, the latest survey on information technology usage in the household sector by the Statistics and Census Service (DSEC) shows.
For the whole year of 2016, the number of households using the Internet amounted to 167,600, while the total number of Internet users reached 499,900, an increase 0.8 per cent and 6.2 per cent year-on-year, respectively. The average Internet penetration rate was 81.6 per cent, while that for the population aged 25 to 34 reached 97.1 per cent.
Of the total, only some 75,800 Internet users reported that they had shopped online during the year, accounting for just 15.2 per cent. Nevertheless, compared to 62,300 online shoppers one year ago, the number still represents a growth of 21.7 per cent.
According to the survey, over half of these Internet users reported that they primarily bought clothing, footwear and handbags online, amounting to 57,600 users, an increase of 27.4 per cent year-on-year.
In addition, those buying electronic products and travel services online jumped by 13.9 per cent and 35.7 per cent year-on-year, amounting to 9,000 and 13,300, respectively.
According to the DSEC, users’ median spending on electronic products during the last quarter of 2016 reached some MOP1,100, a drop of 2.2 per cent, while median spending on travel services amounted to some MOP5,000.
In terms of purpose, the majority of Internet users, some 91.5 per cent, used the Internet for communication purposes, while those searching for information amounted to some 61.3 per cent, up by 1.1 percentage points and 1.3 percentage points year-on-year, respectively.
Meanwhile, 76.6 per cent claimed that they used the Internet for online entertainment, a decrease of 0.2 percentage points from one year ago, while only some 18.4 per cent and 7.1 per cent of Internet users claimed they had used e-banking services and online government services respectively during the year.

Fibre broadband users soar
In terms of the type of Internet services, the number of those using fibre optic broadband services surged by 115.2 per cent year-on-year to 77,900, while those using fixed broadband and mobile broadband services fell by 36.2 per cent and 0.8 per cent, amounting to 71,200 and 140,200, respectively.
Meanwhile, households with computer equipment, including desktop computers, portable computers and tablets, registered an average decrease of 3.2 per cent year-on-year to 147,400, due to ‘the greater variety of functions available on mobile phones and other devices,’ said the DSEC.
The number of mobile phone users reached 561,400 for the year of 2016, a slight increase of 0.3 per cent from one year ago, while the number of computer users dropped by 10.1 per cent year-on-year to 333,400.