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Teen-age Netizens of Silicon Valley v. Beijing. Who is more digitally active?

by dawvon via Flickr under Creative Commons


Are high schoolers in Silicon Valley more digitally active or Beijing?

High School Students using computers

The Stanford Program on Regions of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SPRIE), part of the university’s Graduate School of Business has the answer for you. It’s the high schoolers of Silicon Valley. The SPRIE surveyed 44 high school students from Palo Alto and 27 from Beijing.

These students were 16-18 years old.

When asked about their use of gadgets and how much time they spend online, Californian students ranked higher compared to high schoolers in the Chinese capital.

The study suggested the emergence of a “digital tribe” of teens transcending cultures and geographic borders, especially in tech hotspots such as Silicon Valley and Beijing. “In certain urban locations, today’s teens are native ‘netizens’,” said Marguerite Gong Hancock, associate director of SPRIE. “Most teens in our survey in both Palo Alto and Beijing have had mobile phones since the age of 12. They lead a large part of their daily lives online.”

Both Palo Alto and Beijing students use the Internet in similar ways. For example, students from both cities said that during weekdays they use technology for schoolwork followed by using social networking sites and downloading and listening to music. On weekends, among the Beijing students, schoolwork remained the leading activity, followed by social networking and web surfing.

The researchers hoped to get a rough understanding “of the digital lifestyle of young, urban Chinese who are expected to shape China’s technology future.” China’s has 485 million Internet users and the US has 250 million users. Some experts suggest the generations of young Chinese will influence global economics in coming decades.

“Understanding the habits of the next generation of Chinese netizens is increasingly important to investors and new media companies. The ‘born after 1990′ generation in China will play a role in influencing global adoption of new technologies and business models,” said Duncan Clark, chairman of consulting firm BDA China, and senior advisor of the China 2.0 project at SPRIE.

SOURCE: Stanford Graduate School of Business

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