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China Will Overtake US in Wearable Usage This Year

More than one-fifth of internet users in the country will adopt the devices

Adoption of wearable devices in China will surpass rates in the US this year, according to eMarketer’s first-ever wearables forecast for the Asia-Pacific country.

In 2017, more than one-fifth (21.0%) of adult internet users in China will use a wearable device, such as an Apple Watch or Mi Band, at least once per month. By comparison, 20.4% of US internet users will be wearable users this year.

The wearables technology market launched in China more than five years ago. Since then the sector has seen a sharp growth rate in the country, one that has given little indication of slowing down.

Though fitness trackers manufactured by Fitbit were not initially successful in the country, the subsequent arrival of less expensive trackers, such as the Mi Band, ignited the market and helped to drive mass adoption of the devices.

In addition, the launch of the Apple Watch in 2015 appealed to a rising middle class with a propensity for purchasing high-end luxury goods.

By 2021, eMarketer estimates, almost a quarter of adult internet users in China will use a wearable device regularly.

“Wearable devices will continue to experience high growth among consumers in China,” said Shelleen Shum, senior forecasting analyst at eMarketer.

“Thanks to the availability of inexpensive devices with constantly improving functionalities, coupled with an enthusiasm for new technology among working adults, it is not surprising that the adoption of wearable technology is on the rise in China and will surpass the US in 2017,” she said.