Media habits of Chinese Olympic Fans – compared with London 2012


As the Rio Olympics roll one into their second week, we will look at a recent Data Center of China Internet Report to understand the changing digital behaviors of Chinese Olympic fans.

Increasing number of Olympic followers for Rio Games

According to Weibo data, we see a significant growth in engagement from Chinese netizens to 91.5%, compared with 84.9% in 2012 for the London Games.   According to China’s official CCTV (China Central Television), their online content about the Olympics was viewed over 800 million times during the first week of the Rio Olympics.

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The number of Olympic followers increased for the Rio Olympics

More engagement of Olympic content accross platforms, but mobile is king

Alongside growing interest, all the major media enjoyed a jump in engagement from the 2012 London Games –  including mobile, television, PC, newspaper, broadcasting, outdoor advertising, and magazines.

Mobile is the favoured medium to engage with Olympic content, being used by 74.4% of Olympic viewers, up by 19.1% compared with London in 2012 . In anticipation and recognition of the rise in mobile locally, the four local media companies  Sina,Tencent, NetEase and Sohu all announced a mobile-centered strategy ahead of the Rio Games.

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Chinese audiences favor mobile devices to follow Olympic coverage

Traditional channels still enjoy boost at Olympic time

While mobile is a preferred channel to access Olympic content, it is clear that television gains a substantial boost at the time of Olympics, arguably creating extra value for advertisers on the medium.  With 72.7% of local Olympic fans still including TV as part of their Rio sporting diet.   Also viewing content on PC jumped 6.3% from the 2012 Games, arguably becoming a modern form of the TV.


About Author

Tracy Zhang

As a Masters graduate of Foreign Trade, Tracy started her career helping supermarket brand City Shop to source the ‘hunger’ of Shanghai’s internationalizing consumers. Now that she has found her passion in consumer research, she is helping develop Resonance's ground-breaking ethnographic offer.

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