Forrester forecasts five tech trends for '14

Updated: 2014-01-07 07:19

By Meng Jing (China Daily)

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Forrester forecasts five tech trends for '14

The number of online shoppers in China is poised to exceed the entire population of the United States this year, making China's e-commerce market the world's largest, Forrester Research Inc, a United States-based consultancy, said in a report on Monday.

The number of Chinese online shoppers will reach 356 million in 2014. The Chinese online retail market will continue to grow from $294 billion in 2013 to $604 billion in 2017, according to Forrester's China Tech Market Outlook 2014.

Forrester forecasts five tech trends for '14
YEI Technology's Chris George plays a computer game with PrioVR, a virtual reality gaming accessory, during "CES Unveiled," a media preview event to the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES), in Las Vegas, Nevada, Jan. 5, 2014. The world's largest consumer technology trade show, also known as the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), runs from Jan 7 to 10 in Las Vegas, Nevada. [Photo / Xinhua]

The report gave five top predictions for China's tech market. Apart from the booming e-commerce market, the further penetration of smartphones in the country attracted the attention of analysts at Forrester.

For many in China, the smartphone will begin to resemble a "life hub" - a connected hub for people's lives, said the report.

Smartphone penetration is expected to be a new engine for the further growth of e-commerce in China. Forrester estimated that about 48 percent of all Chinese mobile phone subscribers would become smartphone users in 2014, rising to 64 percent in 2017.

Zhang Yanan, an analyst at IDC Market Research, said that the increasing number of Chinese smartphone users, as well as the building of the faster fourth-generation networks, will become the main drivers of the development of e-commerce in China in 2014.

"I predict that the growth momentum of personal computer-based online shopping will be slower in 2014 while online purchases that are made through mobile devices will grow from at least 60 percent to more than 100 percent year-on-year in 2014," said Zhang.

The growing importance of smartphones led to fierce competition among Internet giants in China in 2013. For example, both Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Tencent Holdings Ltd made aggressive moves to promote their mobile chatting apps in a move to secure their leading positions in the mobile Internet sector.

Although Alibaba enjoys a dominant position in China's e-commerce market and Tencent's WeChat has more than 400 million registered users, analysts said that the dust has not settled in China's mobile Internet market.

With customer experience surging as a priority in China's extremely competitive tech market, big data and analytics will gain popularity, especially among retailers as well as banking and financial services organizations, Forrester predicted.