88.6pct of households have internet access

The Statistics and Census Bureau (DSEC) said in a statement yesterday that a total of 167,600 households accessed the internet in 2016, accounting for about 88.6 percent of total households in Macau and marking an increase of 2.3 percentage points year-on-year.

The number of households with fiber optic broadband connections continued to rise, surging 115 percent year-on-year to 77,900. This has resulted in fewer households using fixed broadband connections, with a 36.2 percent decline to 71,200.

Internet users totaled just under 500,000 in 2016, up by 6.2 percent year-on-year, with the internet penetration rate at 81.6 percent. This represented an increase of 4 percentage points over the previous year.

Meanwhile, the internet penetration rate for the population segment aged 25-34 was 97.1 percent, up by 2.1 percentage points year-on-year; while that of the group aged 55 and above increased to 50.8 percent, up by 5.2 percentage points.

Regarding the frequency of internet usage, 93.2 percent used the internet daily, down by 1.2 percentage points year-on-year.

Most users accessed the internet for communication (91.5 percent) and gathering information (61.3 percent), up by 1.1 and 1.3 percentage points, respectively, year-on-year.

In the same period, those who said they use the internet for online shopping rose substantially by 21.7 percent to 75,800.

The median spending for online shoppers was around MOP1,000 in the fourth quarter of 2016, the same as the corresponding period in the previous year. Median spending on travel services, clothing, footwear and handbags remained about the same as in the fourth quarter of 2015. Median spending on electronic products dropped by 2.2 percent to MOP1,100.

According to the DSEC statement, the number of mobile phone users rose by 0.3 percent year-on-year to 561,400, with the proportion of internet users accessing the web via their mobile phones (91.9 percent) increasing by 0.6 percent year-on-year.

Due to the greater variety of functions available on mobile phones and other devices, the proportion of households with computer equipment fell to 147,400, a drop of 1.1 percentage point year-on-year to 77.9 percent.

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